Wide-field continuous wave fluorescence imaging, fluorescence lifetime imaging, frequency domain photon migration, and spatially modulated imaging have the potential to provide quantitative measurements in vivo. However, most of these techniques have not yet been successfully translated to the clinic due to challenging environmental constraints. In many circumstances, cardiac and respiratory motion greatly impair image quality and/or quantitative processing. To address this fundamental problem, we have developed a low-cost, field-programmable gate array-based, hardware-only gating device that delivers a phase-locked acquisition window of arbitrary delay and width that is derived from an unlimited number of pseudo-periodic and nonperiodic input signals. All device features can be controlled manually or via USB serial commands. The working range of the device spans the extremes of mouse electrocardiogram (1000 beats per minute) to human respiration (4 breaths per minute), with timing resolution ≤0.06%, and jitter ≤0.008%, of the input signal period. We demonstrate the performance of the gating device, including dramatic improvements in quantitative measurements, in vitro using a motion simulator and in vivo using near-infrared fluorescence angiography of beating pig heart. This gating device should help to enable the clinical translation of promising new optical imaging technologies.