Learning on the Rings: Self-supervised 3D finger motion tracking using wearable sensors

Hao Zhou, Taiting Lu, Yilin Liu, Shijia Zhang, Mahanth Gowda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper presents ssLOTR (self-supervised learning on the rings), a system that shows the feasibility of designing self-supervised learning based techniques for 3D finger motion tracking using a custom-designed wearable inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensor with a minimal overhead of labeled training data. Ubiquitous finger motion tracking enables a number of applications in augmented and virtual reality, sign language recognition, rehabilitation healthcare, sports analytics, etc. However, unlike vision, there are no large-scale training datasets for developing robust machine learning (ML) models on wearable devices. ssLOTR designs ML models based on data augmentation and self-supervised learning to first extract efficient representations from raw IMU data without the need for any training labels. The extracted representations are further trained with small-scale labeled training data. In comparison to fully supervised learning, we show that only 15% of labeled training data is sufficient with self-supervised learning to achieve similar accuracy. Our sensor device is designed using a two-layer printed circuit board (PCB) to minimize the footprint and uses a combination of Polylactic acid (PLA) and Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) as housing materials for sturdiness and flexibility. It incorporates a system-on-chip (SoC) microcontroller with integrated WiFi/Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) modules for real-Time wireless communication, portability, and ubiquity. In contrast to gloves, our device is worn like rings on fingers, and therefore, does not impede dexterous finger motion. Extensive evaluation with 12 users depicts a 3D joint angle tracking accuracy of 9.07° (joint position accuracy of 6.55mm) with robustness to natural variation in sensor positions, wrist motion, etc, with low overhead in latency and power consumption on embedded platforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number90
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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