World at Your Fingertips

A trio of IIT-Kharagpur students are working to enable you to control any electronic device with Nimble

Published: 12th May 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th May 2014 10:28 AM   |  A+A-


Promising to replace the usage of keyboard and mouse with their gesture control technology, three youngsters from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur, have dropped a year to commercialise the product. The trio is Abhishek Sharma, 21, from Assam, Harshit Shrivastava, 22, from MP, Vivek Kumar, 22, from Jharkhand. Abhishek and Harshit are from the Mechanical Engineering Department while Vivek is from the Electronics and Electrical Communications Department of IIT-Kharagpur.

Their inspiration behind the gesture control device was creating an economical and more accurate version of Kinect, a series of motion sensing input devices by Microsoft for Xbox products and video game consoles. Intugine’s gesture control device, Nimble is combined with a USB sensor and is powered by fingertip devices. The gesture recognition and sensing market is expected to reach 22.04$ billion by 2020, as quoted by Markets and Markets.

The trio is eyeing this burgeoning market with their gesture control device that offers a variety of applications. Abhishek says, “We wrote the algorithm for the software from scratch using C and C++. The main technology behind this is Computer Vision.” Nimble, the ring shaped device, can be used to control any electronic gadget from a distance of five meters. It redefines your gaming experience with its interactive game play and multi-player options. The accuracy is maintained over a large range of 15 ft. “One can integrate a myriad of features to highlight, write, zoom and much more for office presentations. The range and accuracy of Nimble gives it an advantage of being used in a lot of applications than its competitors who offer a limited range,” they say.

Harshit adds that although they are only available on PCs now, they will soon be available on various other platforms and they are working towards it. On purchase of the device, a user will get a sensor and three rings (two Nimble tips and one Nimble Touch). The device will come pre-installed with applications and games. Less than two cm long, the Nimble tip is for the index finger and thumb. With a flexible diameter and a length of one centimeter, the Nimble touch which is designed to fit most fingers, is specially optimised to control songs and videos within a range of 15 ft and is used as a pointer. It also serves as a controlling tool in games and music applications and also has the ability to swap slides within a range of 30 ft in presentation rooms.

All you need to do is to plug in the USB sensor in the computer and voila, the software does the rest. The company is looking for funding and is also going the crowd funding way by launching a campaign on Kickstarter. For the early adopters they have also enabled pre-ordering on their website, which is available at a price of `1,000 for the first 500 orders. The pre-orders are taken at a discounted price of `3,500. The product will be delivered in the last quarter of 2014. 

The founders dream of making Intugine a Human Computer Interaction Company focusing on gesture control and virtual reality. Vivek says that the decision to drop a year was a huge, but well-planned decision as it was the perfect time to work on the idea as similar products were floated around in tech circles. They quote Mark Zuckerberg to advise budding entrepreneurs, “Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough”.


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