By Joseph L. Flatley posted May 23rd 2010 10:41PM

When looking for a cheap, reliable way to track gestures, Robert Wang and Jovan Popovic of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory came upon this notion: why not paint the operator’s hands (or better yet, his Lycra gloves) in a manner that will allow the computer to differentiate between different parts of the hand, and differentiate between the hand and the background? Starting with something that Howie Mandel might have worn in the 80s, the researchers are able to use a simple webcam to track the hands’ locations and gestures — with relatively little lag. The glove itself is split into twenty patches made up of ten different colors, and while there’s no telling when this technology will be available for consumers, something tells us that when it does become available it’ll be very hard not to notice. Video after the break.

Update: Just received a nice letter from Rob Wang, who points out that his website is the place to see more videos, get more info, and — if you’re lucky — one day download the APIs so you can try it yourself. What are you waiting for?