This story is from the category Sensors
Date posted: 24/12/2009
A wiggle of the fingers will change television channels or turn the volume up or down. In videogames, your movements will control your onscreen digital avatar.
It's called 3D gesture recognition and while it may not be in stores this Christmas a number of technology companies are promising that it will be by next year.
Softkinetic, a Brussels-based software company, is one of the leaders in the gesture-control field and has teamed up with US semiconductor giant Texas Instruments and others to make this touchless vision of the future a reality.
Besides TI, Softkinetic has forged partnerships with France's Orange Vallee for interactive TV, another Belgian firm, Optrima, a maker of 3D cameras and sensors, and with Connecting Technology, a French home automation company.
"On the consumer side you have three markets -- television, videogames and personal computers," Softkinetic chief executive Michel Tombroff told AFP in a telephone interview.
"The objective is to be on the consumer market at the end of next year, by Christmas, so people can buy these things," he said.
"In the same way that the Nintendo Wii completely changed the way that people play videogames this 3D camera technology will allow us to completely transform the way people interact with television," Tombroff said.
Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, said he believes that gesture recognition technology is "directionally correct because anything leading to a more natural interface for a human is better.
"We're in that transition to a time when gestural input will be quite natural," Kay said. "From what I've seen of the demos they're pretty close."
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