Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Gesture Control

The Mind4 drone takes a different approach to tracking athletes from above

Among the swarm of consumer drones to emerge this year, a number have been aimed squarely at action sports devotees. What defines these vehicles is a tracking feature that enables the drone to autonomously follow athletes from above, but these generally require the user to carry a smartphone to communicate their GPS position. Streaming from a built-in camera to a smartphone app, the Mind4 drone instead allows users to select any object to follow onscreen, a feature that could lead to new possibilities in aerial drone photography.  Read More

Sesame aims to provide smartphone access to users with disabilities that prevent them from...

Sesame is a system designed specifically for users with only limited or no use of their hands. The device pairs head tracking software with some familiar hardware with the goal of bringing smartphone functionality to those who would otherwise be unable to make use of it.  Read More

Drive responds to the user's finger movements, but only if their hands are where they shou...

When it comes to safe driving tips, taking your hands off the steering wheel to make or receive calls doesn't rate way up there. Many people instead use hands-free voice prompt systems, although these can also be be distracting, as they require users to think of the correct prompts and then speak them very clearly. Drive offers an alternative – it's a device that's controlled using finger movements, and it won't work unless the user's hands are on the wheel.  Read More

The Dexmo Classic (left) and F2

What happens when you're immersed in a virtual world – such as a game – and you want to use your real-world fingers to control your virtual fingers in that world? Well, we've already seen a number of sensor-equipped gloves, but China's Dexta Robotics is taking what it claims is a more cost-effective approach. Its Dexmo is an exoskeleton for your hand, which can even provide the user with a limited sense of touch.  Read More

Researchers have developed an app that lets gesture controls be used on existing mobile de...

While touch screens have enabled smartphone manufacturers to increase screen real estate by ditching physical keyboards and other buttons, they do have a downside, with fingers often obscuring the display. Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a new app that overcomes this problem by bringing gesture control to mobile devices using their existing built-in camera.  Read More

The Leia Display System (LDS) projects images onto an interactive mist, which can then be ...

The recently-unveiled Leia Display System (LDS) is a lot like a large touchscreen – but with one important difference: its screen is not solid, but rather made from mist. This means you can walk right through the screen, manipulate displayed images using hand gestures reminiscent of Minority Report, or even interact with the display using your whole body.  Read More

The Moto X may just be the most unappreciated phone going around

If you're one of the relatively few people who comes to fully embrace Motorola's flagship Android phone, the Moto X, it will teach you things about the world – and I don't just mean that it will help you look up trivia without even having to use your hands via Google Now and Moto Voice, but that's fun too. Get to know the Moto X well and it will teach you that there is no justice in the world.  Read More

Standalone Kinect sensors for Xbox One will be available for purchase from October 7

After Microsoft started offering the Xbox One without the Kinect sensor earlier this year to better complete with Sony's PS4, it was only a matter of time before a standalone Kinect was released. That time has now arrived, with a standalone Kinect to be available from October 7.  Read More

The Navdy prototype heads-up display (HUD) projects information onto the windscreen

A modern heads-up display (HUD) projects a great deal of what was traditionally shown on a car’s instrument panel onto the windscreen, and is becoming must-have equipment for high-end modern cars. However, as many of us don’t drive high-end expensive cars, we don’t get to take advantage of this technology. That’s where Navdy comes in. Currently in prototype form, the device promises to bring a projection display with voice and gesture controls to any car.  Read More

A mock-up of the virtual keyboard system in use

We've been hearing about virtual keyboards for several years now, and they usually take the form of a keyboard template that's projected onto a flat surface. A team at Sweden's Mälardalen University, however, is developing something a little different. It's a system that combines a pair of bracelets with a wearable device such as Google Glass, to create a virtual keyboard that only its user can see.  Read More

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