A new design tool interprets gestures, enabling designers and artists to create and modify three-dimensional shapes using only their hands as a "natural user interface," instead of keyboard and mouse.

The tool, called Shape-It-Up, uses specialized computer algorithms and a depth-sensing camera to observe and interpret hand movements and gestures. The user creates shapes in a computer by interacting with a virtual workspace as the shape is displayed on a large-screen monitor.

Researchers call the underlying technique shape–gesture–context interplay. The tool could have applications in areas including games, architecture, and art and engineering design, and it also serves the emerging "creative maker" community.


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