How many device remotes do you have? One for the TV, one for the DVD/Blu-ray player, one for cable/satellite box, one for the hi-fi and perhaps even one for the computer – have I missed any? Maybe you've tried to consolidate all of these various remotes into one big universal control with lots and lots of buttons. The Gesture Remote offers something a bit different. The simple interface is completely free of buttons and spatial thumb gestures are used to access menus and choose content.
The Gesture Remote prototype from IDENT Technology, LUNAR Europe and Zinosign offers intuitive remote control without the need for buttons as we understand them today. The remote uses something called Z-Sense technology, which is based on the GestIC 3D user interface we first saw in the Gesture Cube concept. The technology detects and tracks three-dimensional, mid-air hand, finger or body movements and translates the gestures into software commands. It not only registers position but direction and velocity of spatial movement too.
This universal remote for the 21st Century has been designed and created to serve a new multimedia world where users need to go beyond simple channel-hopping on the TV and access on-demand services, social networking services and web-based file-sharing portals. Instead of being faced with a huge number of buttons, a user would access and control menus and content with simple gesturing above the surface of the device.
Using a thumb over the top surface, the Gesture Remote can act as a virtual mouse to drag and drop, click and select or can scroll, flick, rotate, or zoom in & out for volume control and channel selection. A circular motion, for instance, brings up the electronic program guide, where the interactive multimedia experience awaits. A light tap on the surface confirms an action.
Sadly, the Gesture Remote is not available for purchase. Like the Gesture Cube before it, it's been created to demonstrate future possibilities. However, Chau Hop Nguyen Phan from LUNAR Europe told Gizmag that prototypes currently being fine-tuned should find their way "to tech shows by the end of the year and give the tech industry the chance to get their hands on Gesture Remote." With workable Internet TV on our doorstep, our guess is there will be plenty of interest – we'll keep you posted.
The designers have produced a video overview of the Gesture Remote which gives an indication of what the future of televisual interaction might look like: