I used Synapse to get skeletal tracking data, which I then ported into Max/MSP/Jitter via OSC (which is how Synapse sends numbers). I chose the Right elbow & — as a reference — the right hand to demonstrate flexion & the overall extension of said joints.
simple max code compressed here (just copy & paste):
David Sturman is the poster-child of the data glove. Here’s the poster:
With hindsight fully in mind, the data glove has been resigned to the category of ‘design fail’ — or so it seems. Technologies that move us towards the world of Minority Report
see the glove shrinking. Many Kinect hacks already tout the ability to achieve the ‘Minority Report effect’ with no reliance on a ‘data glove’ at all.
Yet Sturman’s research has proven to be as inspiring as it was influential, the veritable seedbed from which all other related technologies seemingly branched out. In his 1994 essay “A Survey of Glove-based Input,” Sturman describes the lack of dexterity and naturalness at play with respect to control devices of the time. Citing clumsy intermediary designs that constrain human ability to interact with computers, Sturman posits that glove-based designs “let us apply our manual dexterity to the task.” This might seem obvious by today’s standards, given the breadth of today’s control surfaces & input devices, but Sturman goes on, making ‘hand-tracking devices’ his point of departure. Separating them into Position tracking and Optical tracking subcategories, he goes on to describe LED marker systems & silhouette analysis (I’m glossing terribly here).
There’s a poignant line where Sturman discusses the impasses of 1994 camera technologies:
If the performance of camera-based systems improves to the point that they can track individual fingers while maintaining a large visual field, operate in real time, and work without special clothing or encumbering devices, we think certain applications will return to this method of capturing hand motions.
He goes on to discuss magnetic & acoustic tracking, then spends a bit of time parsing out competing glove technologies of the era (even the Nintendo Power Glove makes an appearance). Positing various glove-based applications, ranging from sign language interpretation to robotic control (think puppeteer) to musical performance, Sturman seems optimistic about the possibilities here. Claiming that the field is still in its infancy, he infers that there will be many future applications. Basically he’s like, dude, the glove is gonna be huge. We now know of course that the glove never really became that huge. Maybe it’s still in it’s infancy…