BeamBand: Hand Gesture Sensing with Ultrasonic Beamforming

BeamBand is a wrist-worn system that uses ultrasonic beamforming for hand gesture sensing. Using an array of small transducers, arranged on the wrist, we can ensemble acoustic wavefronts to project acoustic energy at specified angles and focal lengths. This allows us to interrogate the surface geometry of the hand with inaudible sound in a raster-scan-like manner, from multiple viewpoints. We use the resulting, characteristic reflections to recognize hand pose at 8 FPS. In our user study, we found that BeamBand supports a six-class hand gesture set at 94.6% accuracy. Even across sessions, when the sensor is removed and reworn later, accuracy remains high: 89.4%. We describe our software and hardware, and future avenues for integration into devices such as smartwatches and VR controllers.

Research Team: Yasha Iravantchi, Mayank Goel, and Chris Harrison


Iravantchi, Y., Goel, M. and Harrison, C. 2019. BeamBand: Hand Gesture Sensing with Ultrasonic Beamforming. In Proceedings of the 37th Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Glasgow, UK, May 4 - 9, 2019). CHI '19. ACM, New York, NY. Paper 15, 10 pages