Flutter brings (limited) gesture control to iTunes and Spotify


April 4, 2012

Flutter uses a computer's built-in webcam to allow gesture control in iTunes and Spotify

Flutter uses a computer's built-in webcam to allow gesture control in iTunes and Spotify

While developers are plugging away on Windows applications for Microsoft’s Kinect thanks to the release of the official Kinect for Windows SDK, Mac users can also get into the gesture control game – albeit in a much, (much) more limited way. Not requiring any additional hardware because it works using a Mac's built-in webcam, Flutter registers hand gestures – well, a hand gesture – to control playback in iTunes and Spotify.

Currently in alpha and available as a free download, Flutter allows music and videos in iTunes and music in Spotify to be played and paused by flashing the webcam a “talk to the hand” gesture. The application runs in the menu bar and allows control of iTunes and Spotify even when they’re running in the background. This is probably the biggest plus of the app, at least until it gets some more functionality and compatibility with a wider range of applications – both of which are in the works.

However, without the benefit of a depth sensor like the Kinect, the range of gestures will likely be limited. Nevertheless, having downloaded the app and given it a quick trial it seems to work pretty well. With no calibration required, it registers my open palm in under a second, even in low light. If I was the type to listen to music while I worked, I could definitely see myself using it to save me a few mouse clicks.

Flutter is currently only available for Macs and can be downloaded here.

Here’s a video showing Flutter in action.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick
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