Lazy or Innovative
With technology advancing faster than ever, it has become an integral part of our daily lives. From smartphones to smart clothes, new ways are being developed to make our lives easier.
I know this will give away a bit about my age, but I remember when you actually had to get up and change TV channels. Yes…I know, very distressing, right?
Even though the TV remote control was invented in 1956, we still didn’t have one until I was around ten years old. (This was partially due to the fact that my parents were very frugal, and definitely not lazy.) When we got our first TV with a remote, we thought it was fascinating.
Now there is the potential to turn everyday objects into remote controls using gesture control technology. According to Wikipedia, the potential of this technology could drastically change the way a computer is used:
Gesture recognition enables humans to communicate with the machine (HMI) and interact naturally without any mechanical devices. Using the concept of gesture recognition, it is possible to point a finger at the computer screen so that the cursor will move accordingly. This could make conventional input devices such as mouse, keyboards and even touch-screens redundant.
Read the full definition here: Gesture Recognition Technology
Google’s Project Soli
This would definitely alleviate problems with carpal tunnel syndrome that affects many people who work on a computer all day, every day…like me. In 2015 at Google’s I/O Conference, Project Soli was announced, a new sensing technology that uses miniature radar to detect touchless gesture interactions.
They use a very small radar sensor that can translate hand movements into digital signals. Even though this video is a couple years old, it gives the background on this mind blowing tech:
Soli isn’t meant just for computers. Its potential applications are phones, speakers, cars…basically any IoT devices. Because it has no moving parts, there is nothing that can break and it all fits onto a chip so it consumes very little energy.
Other Gesture Recognition Technology
Is Soli ready to be released? Not at this time, but there are other groups working on a similar tech. Lancaster University announced what they are calling a revolutionary technology called Matchpoint. Similar to Project Soli, it allows you to use gesture recognition to manipulate objects.
The difference is that with Matchpoint you are able to use any object as a remote control with spontaneous spatial coupling. This post explains more:
The Matchpoint technology is relatively simple to operate. Like its glitchy predecessors, it requires a webcam. To operate, a user interfaces with the screen which will display a circular widget with menu items around the circle. This interaction between movement and display is being described as “spontaneous spatial coupling.”
What sets this tech apart from previous iterations is that it doesn’t look to interact with specific body parts. It instead targets and identifies rotating movement. This allows the tech to operate without calibrating or registering specific objects. It can be used with televisions, computers, and other devices that use screens.
See the full post here: New Gesture Control Tech Turns Anything Into a Remote
If this seems hard to envision, here’s a short video showing more about this amazing new innovation:
Another example of gesture technology is the Myo gesture control armband that uses a technique known as electromyography. The armband is able to read electrical signals from the muscles in your forearm, map them to gestures made with your hand, and then allow you to control other devices with those gestures.
Gesture control technology is also utilized with Kinect, which is line of motion sensing input devices by Microsoft for Xbox 360 and Xbox One video game consoles and Microsoft Windows PCs.
The possibilities are endless for assisting humans in so many ways, and combined with artificial intelligence, we may all become jobless couch potatoes. Or at least we will be able to focus our wasted energy changing channels on something more productive.