Ever dreamed of
touring the International Space Station? At NASA’s new Bioastronautics
Exhibit at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, visitors will soon be
able to lead their own virtual space station tours by commanding a
computer with a series of simple hand gestures. Cybernet Systems, an
Internet research and development company in Ann Arbor, Mich.,
announced today the pairing of its patented gesture recognition
technology with NASA’s Virtual Astronaut software. The resulting
exhibit kiosk takes Cybernet’s technology for enhancing human
interaction with a range of electronic devices and couples it with
software that enables the public to explore space without ever leaving

The gesture-controlled kiosk is being delivered to the Johnson
Space Center this week; the Bioastronautics Exhibit is scheduled to
open to the public in August 2001.

“Cybernet’s gesture recognition technology observes human hand
motions and interprets gestural signals in order to control devices,”
says Anthony J. Comazzi, Cybernet’s vice president of business
development. “This space station kiosk is just one of many potential
applications for the technology. We believe that gesture recognition
will ultimately provide a viable alternative to physical contact or
remote controls for issuing commands to a variety of electronic

Cybernet created the space station application in response to
NASA’s request for an educational outreach device that would capture
the attention of children without the use of a keyboard or a mouse. By
building its gesture recognition technology into the computerized
kiosk, Cybernet allows users to “move” throughout the space station’s
interior via hand gestures. Visitors point a finger, move a hand
around a designated area or open and close a fist to manipulate space
station doors and viewports, or to request more information; the user
never has to touch the computer screen.

“We want the kiosk to help the public understand the purpose of
our science and our mission, and how it relates to life on earth,”
says Stacey Morrison, deputy chief information officer, Space and Life
Sciences Directorate at the Johnson Space Center. “Because users
interact with the computer through gestures, we won’t have to worry
about broken parts or a dirty computer screen during the exhibit. And
because gesture recognition is a new computer technology, it adds to
the futuristic sense of the exhibit.”

To date, Cybernet’s gesture recognition technology has been
successfully incorporated into interactive computer gaming peripheral
devices and game enhancement tools, such as the UseYourHead(TM)
software product.

“With the customer delivery to NASA this week, Cybernet is paving
the way for additional kiosk-based solutions, as well as a number of
additional applications as gesture recognition can be incorporated
into many other computer and non-computer based solutions,” Comazzi
noted. “Imagine being able to drive up to an ATM machine and complete
your transaction by waving your hand in front of a window. Customers
might experience fewer out-of-order machines if kiosks no longer
required physical contact.”

For more information about the Bioastronautics Exhibit, contact
Stacey Morrison at stacey.e.morrison@jsc.nasa.gov. PC users can also
visit NASA’s virtual astronaut Web site at

About Cybernet Systems

Cybernet Systems Corp. is a profitable, rapidly growing
technology-based company focused on developing products that combine
software and Internet intelligence with human-machine interaction.
Cybernet has successfully leveraged its wealth of intellectual
property to bring force feedback technology to market in the form of
game controllers and joysticks, introduced a line of Linux-based
Internet appliance software, and launched a PC game enhancement
software product. The company continues to innovate in the areas of
Internet medical systems, large-scale distributed network training and
gaming and gesture control interface technology. Additional
information on Cybernet Systems is available on the web at