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The proliferation of accelerometers on consumer electronics has brought an opportunity for interaction based on gestures or physical manipulation of the devices. We present uWave, an efficient recognition algorithm for such interaction using a single three-axis accelerometer. Unlike statistical methods, uWave requires a single training sample for each gesture pattern and allows users to employ personalized gestures and physical manipulations. We evaluate uWave using a large gesture library with over 4000 samples collected from eight users over an elongated period of time for a gesture vocabulary with eight gesture patterns identified by a Nokia research. It shows that uWave achieves 98.6% accuracy, competitive with statistical methods that require significantly more training samples. Our evaluation data set is the largest and most extensive in published studies, to the best of our knowledge. We also present applications of uWave in gesture-based user authentication and interaction with three-dimensional mobile user interfaces using user created gestures.