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The objective of this study was to evaluate the various gesture recognition algorithms currently in use, after which the most suitable algorithm was optimized in order to implement it on a mobile device. Gesture recognition techniques studied include hidden Markov models, artificial neural networks and dynamic time warping. A dataset for evaluating the gesture recognition algorithms was gathered using a mobile device's embedded accelerometer. The algorithms were evaluated based on computational efficiency, recognition accuracy and storage efficiency. The optimized algorithm was implemented on the mobile device to test the empirical validity of the study.