Hands-free gaming systems are likely to gain, in the near future, the total share of the electronic gaming market. Such process has been anticipated by the introduction of the Nintendo Wii that, within a few months from its launch, stably reached the top ranking of sales among gaming systems. We can expect something similar will occur once the for-long expected Microsoft Kinect system will be available on the shelves of computer gaming stores. In general, it is clear from this sequence of events, that the opportunity of playing a game naturally, performing the same movements that would be made in a real setting, has a magnetic effect on customers. What, instead, is less evident is the great wealth of research that has been performed in the recent years to reach such result. In fact, behind the development of such gaming platforms strenuous research efforts have been made in a number of areas, which include and are not limited to hand following techniques and gesture recognition algorithms. As a beneficial side effect, the development of these areas can also play an important role in a number of other applications, including technical and artistic interactive exhibitions. In this paper we will describe the process that led us to devise a novel hand following and an innovative gesture recognition technique that both can easily be applied to exhibition scenarios (e.g., museums, fairs, etc.) and in general all those performing events where a pre-defined set of gestures are needed to enjoy a cultural experience, as they can be easily jointly put to good use to recognize a predefined set of movements. Our algorithms are robust and easy to implement, for this reason they are particularly suited for exhibition scenarios where stands can often change or adapted to new requirements.
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