Proceedings: GI + CHI 1987

A hand gesture interface device

Thomas Zimmerman, Jaron Lanier, Chuck Blanchard, Steve Bryson, Young Harvill

Proceedings of the SIGCHI/GI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems and Graphics Interface: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 5 - 9 April 1987, 189-192

DOI 10.1145/29933.275628

  • BibTex

    author = {Zimmerman, Thomas and Lanier, Jaron and Blanchard, Chuck and Bryson, Steve and Harvill, Young},
    title = {A hand gesture interface device},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the SIGCHI/GI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems and Graphics Interface},
    series = {GI + CHI 1987},
    year = {1987},
    issn = {0713-5425},
    isbn = {0-89791-213-6},
    location = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},
    pages = {189--192},
    numpages = {4},
    doi = {10.1145/29933.275628},
    acmdoi = {10.1145/29933.275628},
    publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
    address = {New York, NY, USA},


This paper reports on the development of a hand to machine interface device that provides real-time gesture, position and orientation information. The key element is a glove and the device as a whole incorporates a collection of technologies. Analog flex sensors on the glove measure finger bending. Hand position and orientation are measured either by ultrasonics, providing five degrees of freedom, or magnetic flux sensors, which provide six degrees of freedom. Piezoceramic benders provide the wearer of the glove with tactile feedback. These sensors are mounted on the light-weight glove and connected to the driving hardware via a small cable. Applications of the glove and its component technologies include its use in conjunction with a host computer which drives a real-time 3-dimensional model of the hand allowing the glove wearer to manipulate computer-generated objects as if they were real, interpretation of finger-spelling, evaluation of hand impairment in addition to providing an interface to a visual programming language.