Date of Award

12-2013

Degree Name

MS in Computer Science

Department

Computer Science

Advisor

Franz Kurfess

Abstract

Human-Computer Interaction is a rapidly expanding field, in which new implementations of ideas are consistently being released. In recent years, much of the concentration in this field has been on gesture-based control, either touch-based or camera-based. Even though camera-based gesture recognition was previously seen more in science fiction than in reality, this method of interaction is rising in popularity. There are a number of devices readily available to the average consumer that are designed to support this type of input, including the popular Microsoft Kinect and Leap Motion devices.

Despite this rise in availability and popularity, development for these devices is currently an arduous task, unless only the most simple of gestures is required. The goal of this thesis is to develop a Software Development Kit (SDK) with which developers can more easily develop interfaces that utilize gesture-based control. If successful, this SDK could significantly reduce the amount of work (both in effort and in lines of code) necessary for a programmer to implement gesture control in an application. This, in turn, could help reduce the intellectual barrier which many face when attempting to implement a new interface.

The developed SDK has three main goals. The SDK will place an emphasis on simplicity of code for developers using it; will allow for a variety of gestures, including gestures made by single or multiple trackable objects (e.g., hands and fingers), gestures performed in stages, and continuously-updating gestures; and will be device-agnostic, in that it will not be written exclusively for a single device. The thesis presents the results of a system validation study that suggests all of these goals have been met.

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