Body language is a powerful tool. It lets people know what we're feeling and whether or not we want to engage. Those same motions can send signals that control gadgets, computers and other electronic devices. From televisions to cars and even brain scans, these gesture-controlled devices only need a wave of the hand to do your bidding.
Television If you've ever used Kinect, you know what it's like to get your TV to do what you want with a wave of your hand. What if you could do the same with all aspects of TV viewing? The nTobeBox from eyeSight Mobile Technologies and Innodigital, lets you control your TV, sans remote. It runs on Android's Ice Cream Sandwich platform and kind of resembles an inside out version of that dessert treat. The set top box streams content like apps and video calls while also broadcasting conventional TV.
Webcam This webcam is screen-mounted and designed to work at close range on Intel's new line of Ultrabooks. They will have 3D depth array and a dual microphone. This will make it possible to use facial recognition and analysis to determine details like age and gender of the user. Intel claims these kinds of features could enhance even the smallest tasks such as online shopping for glasses, by allowing users to virtually try things on. The Web camera will also provide users a way to control objects or applications on the screen by reaching out or waving their hands.
Car Dashboard Making gestures in your car conjures up images of aggressive driving behavior, but a gesture-controlled vehicle system from Harman is anything but vulgar. The company has built a concept car with a dashboard that interprets movements such as nods and winks as commands. For example, to turn off the radio a driver can wink and adjust the volume by nodding. She can also adjust the air conditioner and answer a phone call using hand motions. Harman says the advance could reduce distractions and help drivers keep their eyes on the road. It's capable of recognizing the difference between intentional gestures and accidental ones. So if you do "accidentally" flip someone off, you won't turn off the radio.
Brain Scan Software When a surgeon in Portugal decided that he needed more access to brain scans during surgery without having to compromise sterility, he contacted a software company. YDreams created an interactive program called YScope. The software is integrated with Microsoft's Kinect and allows doctors to manipulate scans and images for optimal viewing without ever having to touch anything. YScope is still in testing phases, but interest is building worldwide, so the company plans to have it on the market by the end of the year. via DW
Music App Flutter uses a computer's webcam to control music on Spotify and iTunes, no extra hardware needed. To start a song, all one has to do is hold a hand up, same goes for stopping it. Future plans are in the works to control playback on Netflix and YouTube as well as adding the ability to advance slides on PowerPoint. The app is compatible with both Mac OS and Windows. Best part about this app? It's free.
Computer Mouse First there was the computer mouse, then the trackball, then the wireless mouse. Now there's the invisible mouse. The idea comes from MIT researcher Pranav Mistry and his team at the Media Lab who have developed a mouseless mouse using an infrared beam and a camera. The user cups his hand the same way he would on a mouse so that the laser beam reflects onto it. The camera reads the light beam and converts that into cursor movements. For example, a tapping finger changes the light size and sends a message to the camera that initiates a click on screen. The researchers think movements like zoom are possible as they progress. And since the working prototype was built for about $20, the final product could be much cheaper than standard mice.
Speaker and Remote Control The designer for this device, JC Karich collaborated with a team to create something that looks seemingly low-tech with high-tech results. A tiny wooden tube, described as an "interactive sound object," works as a speaker but also tracks hand gestures to be a remote control. To make adjustments such as changing volume, a user moves his hand up and down above the wooden tube or swipes to change songs.
Hand Set If you see a guy making that lame "call me" sign to you at the bar, don't be alarmed, he may just be talking on this odd Bluetooth glove. Hi-Call gloves are pretty much a Bluetooth headset for your hand. The speaker is in the thumb and the mic in the pinky of these black gloves. They earned the title "Best Product" at this year's IFA. They'll be available for purchase this month.
Camera Clicker With this concept device, framing a scene and clicking a camera shutter is as easy as holding up your fingers. The Air Clicker consists of two pieces that fit fit over your fingers like rings -- one for your thumb and one for your forefinger. When you bend the finger to "snap" a photo, a tension sensor activates and sends a message to the camera to capture the image. The Air Clicker connects with a smartphone through Bluetooth to safely store images in the device.
Laptop Open Sesame. Say the words and your laptop opens. Well, almost. In this concept prototype from design student Tobias Toft, a laptop opens and closes via tapping, snapping or knocking. The webcam and microphone sense a person's position, which makes it possible to adjust the computer's height, making sure each user has the best viewing angle.