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Gesture control's no longer restricted to P.K. Dick novels, having firmly broken away from its fantasist scifi roots into practical, everyday use. It's only natural then that those advancements, typically reserved for computing, would bleed into other areas of consumer tech, like digital imaging. For researchers at Japan's Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences, that manual dexterity appears to be the next great photographic leap, as the L-squared hand-framing you're accustomed to seeing photogs mime on TV and film could wind up replacing physical point-and-shoots soon.

The team's prototype, dubbed Ubi-Camera, may look more like a mini-cube than mini-cam, but it works rather intuitively: simply hook it onto your index finger, adjust the focus by moving the "viewfinder" nearer to your face for wide-angle shots or further away for close-ups and then snap away using the side-mounted shutter button. The project's not without its hiccups, however, as the in-development unit's infrared sensor, used to determine range, can be easily affected by lighting conditions. Additionally, there's no zoom function, as that process is handled entirely in post on a desktop PC. All told, these are really rather small bumps in the road to an inevitable marketplace debut. Next up for IAMAS? Crushing people's heads with your fingers. At least, that's on our wish list. Video demo after the break.