People who are deaf or hard of hearing are constantly met with the challenge of communicating, since most non-deaf people don't understand sign language. But modern technology is once again offering new solutions for old issues, and this time it comes in the shape of Uni, which uses motion gesture recognition to translate sign language to audio, and spoken word to text, in real time.
Imagine if your smartphone was ringing away in your bag or pocket, and you were able to silence it simply by waving your hand in the air – without even taking the phone out. Well, that could soon be a reality, thanks to technology being developed at the University of Washington. Known as SideSwipe, the experimental system allows a phone to recognize gestures via the manner in which the user's hand reflects back the phone's own wireless transmissions.
Quality control is a vital part of modern manufacturing. Not only does it decrease the chances of a dissatisfied customer, but it reduces waste and, therefore, cost. However, inspecting products on the assembly line can itself be expensive, time consuming, and not as accurate as it should be. To speed things up a bit, BMW has developed a new system for inspecting bumpers that uses gestures to allow inspectors to literally point out defects.
Many of us now use our mobile devices for things like online banking, in crowded public places ... the sort of places where it would be easy for sometime to sneak a peek as we enter our passcodes. Researchers from New Jersey's Rutgers University, however, are working on a possible alternative to those typed codes. They've discovered that passwords consisting of hand gestures used to draw free-form lines on a smartphone or tablet screen are much more difficult for "shoulder surfers" to copy after seeing.
Gesture recognition devices
may indeed offer more functionality than is possible using just a keyboard and mouse, but in order to use them, users have to lift their hands up and away
from that keyboard. A team at Microsoft Research decided to address that problem, and created a prototype mechanical keyboard that recognizes hand gestures performed on or immediately above the keys.
We've already seen rings that unlock doors and mobile devices
, show the time
, act as a mouse
or display notifications
from a connected mobile device, but, like the Fin
, the Ring from California-based Logbar aims to take finger wagging to the next level. Featuring Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, the Ring is designed to allow control of mobile devices and home appliances, make electronic payments and even type text in mid air with a wave of a finger.
Current gesture recognition technology seen in devices such as Samsung's Galaxy S4
generally rely on the device's camera. This not only creates a drain on the device's battery, but means users need to retrieve the phone from their pocket or handbag to make use of the technology. The new AllSee system developed at the University of Washington (UW) overcomes both these problems by using wireless signals not only as a power source, but also to detect user gestures when the phone is tucked away out of sight.
Two Portuguese designers based in Sydney have come up with a practical idea for facilitating communication between people when sign language is involved. Catarina Araujo and Sofia Santos’ project, still at the development stage and looking for financial backers, taps Leap Motion
technology to create a wearable sign language translator to be worn as a necklace.
Creative is taking on the might of Microsoft's Kinect with the Senz3D Interactive Gesture Camera. Marketed as the "future of PC interaction," the Senz3D features advanced depth sensor technology, and dual array microphones for voice recognition. Gizmag was on the scene to take it for a brief whirl.
With systems like the Kinect
and Leap Motion
, controlling a gadget with just the wave of a hand is starting to become much more commonplace. The one drawback to those gesture-based devices however is that you never actually touch anything. No matter what you see on the screen, you're still very aware that you're just moving your hands through the air. The Pittsburg branch of Disney Research may be able to change that with Aireal, a low-cost haptic system which fires out small rings of air that allow people to feel virtual objects.