What is Gesture Control Technology?
Gesture control technology gives people the freedom to control what devices do without having to ever touch electronics like smartphones and tablets. All device owners have to do is use the right type of wearables such as a ring or wristband. Once they activate their gesture control devices, they have hands-free control over how their electronics behave.
This is a fairly new technology, especially in the consumer market. While there are a few gesture control devices available for sale, we expect to see more options come to stores over the next couple years.
How to Use Gesture Control Technology
As the name suggests, gesture control technology is all about letting you control your devices through gestures. For instance, instead of picking up your smartphone and swiping right to answer a call, you might simply lift your right hand as if you were answering a telephone. As long as this is a gesture your device recognizes, it will tell the smartphone that you are answering the call. The phone responds by immediately placing you in contact with the caller.
Other gestures a device might recognize include:
- Pointing a finger
- Shaking a fist
- Lowering your hand
- Spreading your fingers wide
- Snapping your fingers
The specific gestures that are recognized will depend on the device’s capabilities.
Since these are wearable devices, they make use of how your body already moves. A ring, therefore, is a useful way to make pointing recognizable while a bracelet is an effective device for noticing larger gestures.
What Makes Gesture Recognition Devices Work?
Companies are developing new approaches to gesture control technology every year. Most of the wearable devices, however, include motion-sensing components like gyroscopes and accelerometers. Most smartphones already include these types of tech, but gesture recognition wearables need to use smaller versions that are comfortable for users to wear on their hands and other body parts.
Some companies have also built gesture recognition devices that work independent of wearables. These designs take radically different approaches that, while they currently offer limited functionality, make it possible for users to control computers without wearing extra devices. For instance, a smartphone may detect finger motions above its screen to determine what the user wants to do. By double -tapping the air, the phone knows that you want to place a call. By closing your fist, it knows you want to hang up. Most of these devices include motion-sensing components. Some, however, use sound waves to detect movements.
You can think of this in the same way that you think of recent video games that detect motion to control characters (like playing golf on a Wii). The biggest difference is that this newer version has been miniaturized to fit on your hand.
Making Mobile Technology More Convenient
Gesture control technology is much more than a novelty, although using them can certainly remind the wearer of sci-fi movies like Minority Report, where characters control their computers by waving their hands.
As gesture control devices become more sophisticated, smnartphone owners should find that their mobile devices become more convenient to use. As long as the devices recognize intuitive movements, they can respond readily to how their owners behave. Instead of having to learn complex commands, device owners can communicate and control their devices simply by motioning.
Gesture recognition technology could even make mobile devices safer to use.
Distracted driving is currently a major problem that many experts consider just as dangerous as drunk driving. By making smartphones and other mobile devices easier to control without using your hands or eyes, owners could find that they get to use their technology without putting themselves and others in danger. Instead of fumbling with a smartphone’s screen, they could just wave a free hand in the air to answer a call.
Some technology researchers believe that gesture control devices could even improve computer security. Instead of remembering a complicated password to access your phone or accounts, your devices would recognize your wearable. As long as you can move the wearable in the right pattern, the device will unlock, giving you access to your information. You may already use a similar approach to security. Many people currently unlock their phones by tracing designs on their devices’ screens. Instead of doing that, you would could unlock the device without touching it. Pairing the device with a movement pattern would also add another layer of security that makes it nearly impossible for other people to access your devices and accounts.s
The Future of Gesture Control Technology
There are currently several gesture recognition devices on the market that you may want to try. Some good options for mobile devices and desktop computers include:
- The Nod ring
- The Myo from Thalmic Labs
Expect to see plenty more devices come to the consumer market in the near future.
Many technology researchers and developers expect gesture control devices to join forces with virtual reality visors like the Oculus Rift. The advantages are pretty obvious. By putting the two technologies together, owners could delve into virtual environments that they not only see, but can interact with. Eventually, they could become so sophisticated that people can enter entirely virtual words to learn important skills for military and medicine. Eventually, devices will likely become affordable enough that they are used by the gaming industry.
In the meantime, you already have several fun devices to explore. Existing technology, which is often pretty affordable, can make your mobile devices easier and safer to use. It’s also impossible to notice that the technology has an inherent cool factor that many people will find attractive.
If you are an early adopter who already owns wearable devices, then you will want to learn more about the features unique to gesture recognition. The technology still has plenty of room to evolve, but you can get in on the ground floor by purchasing rings, bracelets, and other wearables that will give you greater control over your smartphone and other devices.
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- Reads the electrical activity of your muscles and the motion of your arm to let you wirelessly control technology with hand gestures and motion
- Find over 100 applications to control music, games, presentations, and more in Myo Market
- Map gestures to your keyboard for customized control
- Develop with open APIs and free SDK to build solutions for home automation, drones, computer games, virtual reality, and more