Consumer Watch: Next wave in hands-free technology


by Andy Treinen

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 6:16 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – The next wave of interacting with your TV, PC, or your tablet may eliminate clicking a mouse, pushing a button or swiping a screen.

“You can just use your hand to control your TV, laptop, tablet – any device that has a camera,” Assaf Gad, President of Marketing for PointGrab said.

Software companies are moving forward with gesture-control for home electronics, gaming, laptops and even cars.

Israeli-based PointGrab is hoping to get a piece of the market.

“Think about the time you spend to look for a remote control. Instead of that, you have your hands with you all the time,” Assaf explains. “You can just raise it and control the volume or browse different channels.”

In a demonstration with a laptop, a camera reads the user’s motions. A wave browses channels while sliding a hand up and down controls volume.

TV’s are a target devices because of their stationary position in a room and consumers generally stationary viewing habits.

Instead of learning how to operate a clunky remote control, the TV has to get to know you better.

“We don’t need to learn to interact with the device. Instead our technology helps the device better understand you and read your body language,” Assaf said.

One challenge in the early stages of the technology: different gestures across different devices for the same action, meaning manufacturers may have to come up with some standards down the line.

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