Shopping? Check out our latest product comparisons

Gestures

Pitch is controlled by raising and lowering the hands, while the volume can be cranked up ...

Some take their air guitar playing more seriously than others, but even for those exerting the most energy, those perfectly struck imaginary chords are heard by nobody's ears except their own. Aura, an electronic instrument that translates hand gestures into music, could be just what these highly animated faux musicians need to get a little more reward for their efforts.  Read More

The LuminAR Bulb works with standard light fixtures and projects an interactive image onto...

We've all seen gigantic touch screens on the news or in movies, but what if you could achieve the same type of interface by simply replacing the bulb in your desk lamp? That's the idea behind the LuminAR, developed by a team led by Natan Linder at the MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group. It combines a Pico-projector, camera, and wireless computer to project interactive images onto any surface - and is small enough to screw into a standard light fixture.  Read More

The extended multitouch system can turn any flat surface into a multi-touch interface

The world may not be your oyster, but thanks to technology being developed at Indiana’s Purdue University, it may soon be your multi-touch screen. Researchers at that institution have created an “extended multitouch” system, that consists of a computer, video projector, and Kinect camera – the technology allows any surface to be transformed into a touchscreen interface, that can track multiple hands simultaneously.  Read More

Keyboard-free emailing underway (Image: Chad Ruble, Youtube)

For many sufferers of aphasia, a disorder caused by stroke that impairs the language centers of the brain, simple things like writing or typing up emails become incredibly difficult. One inventor, though, has created an email interface based on the Kinect system that allows his mom to do the impossible, and send simple emails to her friends and family.  Read More

Mogees turns any hard surface into a playable musical interface (Photo: Bruno Zamborlin)

Mogees is great news for all the air guitarists out there. This tiny device, built by Bruno Zamborlin for his Arts and Computational Technologies PhD project, offers a whole new way of expressing yourself musically, even if you don’t have the slightest idea how to play an instrument. Mogees, or a “Mosaicing Gestural Surface," is based on a simple contact microphone that turns any hard surface into a musical interface for triggering audio samples. What sets Mogees apart from other interfaces of this kind is that different types of touch stimuli generate different output. Simple gestures like scratching, rubbing or tapping can produce a surprising array of sounds worthy of a serious experimental music set up.  Read More

Some of the activities that the Kinect-enabled system was able to identify (Image: Cornell...

When and if we ever do get our personal robot assistants, it would be nice to think that we could "be ourselves" in front of them, doing things such as scratching our butts or checking our deodorant - because they're just robots, right? They're not going to know what we're doing. Well ... thanks to research currently being conducted at Cornell University, there's already a Microsoft Kinect system that can correctly identify people's activities, based on observation of their movements. If such technology were incorporated into a robot, it's possible that it could admonish you for chewing with your mouth open – although more likely, it might offer to help you lift a heavy object.  Read More

With Project Natal 'you are the controller' as shown in this demo at CES 2010

Microsoft has announced that its controller-less accessory for the Xbox 360, dubbed Project Natal, will ship by the end of 2010. Unveiled in June 2009, Project Natal is the Redmond company’s attempt to out-Wii the Wii. Instead of a hand-held controller, wireless or otherwise, Project Natal uses a 3D sensing unit on top of your TV to read your gestures, recognize your face or other objects, and even respond to your voice. Project Natal is among the latest examples of devices that are controlled by so-called “natural user interfaces”.  Read More

Honda to show auto navigation and multimedia system with gesture recognition

Tokyo Auto Salon opens tomorrow and could benefit from much of the hangover from the greatly downsized Tokyo Motor Show last October. One of the most exciting prospects of the show is the first showing of Honda’s Gathers Advance 4, a next-generation car navigation and multimedia system concept which is based around a combination of gesture control (top left image) and voice recognition. Little has been released about the system as yet, however a series of images released by Honda indicates in-car cameras trained on the driver (behind iPod –top right) and voice recognition controls on the steering wheel (bottom right).  Read More

Razer, Sixense and Valve bringing motion control to PC gamers

With the Wii's MotionPlus already old news, and Microsoft's Project Natal and Sony's PlayStation Eye-based equivalent likely to hit this year, it's easy to wonder when motion controls will find success in the PC world. ASUS's Eee Stick tried, but merely proved that strong software support for new hardware peripherals is absolutely crucial for success - which is why we're excited to see Valve, developers of hit series such as Half-Life, Left 4 Dead and Portal, showing support for Razer and Sixense's new, as-yet-unnamed motion control hardware for the PC.  Read More

A laboratory mockup of a thin-screen LCD display with built-in optical sensors (Photo: Mat...

The gestural interface used by Tom Cruise in the movie Minority Report was based on work by MIT Media Lab’s Hiroshi Ishii, who has already commercialized similar large-scale gestural interface systems. However, such systems comprise many expensive cameras or require the user to wear tracking devices on their fingers. To develop a similar yet cost effective gestural interface system that is within reach of many more people other researchers at MIT have instead been working to develop screens with embedded optical sensors to track the movement of the user’s fingers that could quickly make touch screens seem outdated.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 27,751 articles