Gesture Control

  • No doubt you've needed to control a device while keeping your hands free or while keeping your dirty hands clear of your expensive tech. Where hopelessness and frustration may previously have abounded, a new gesture-control device called the Bixi – now raising funds on Kickstarter – could help.
  • Voice control is one option for one-handed smartwatch usage, but researchers from Dartmouth University are developing another. Their WristWhirl prototype can be controlled by making joystick motions with the hand of the arm that's wearing it. ​
  • NEC's ARmKeypad uses AR to display a virtual keypad onto the user's arm, with input registered through vibrations from the tapping of fingers on the arm.​ Now the company has announced a new, tap-free version called the ARmKeypad Air that provides a completely contact-free interface.
  • Almost every object you encounter has been designed to work with the human hand, so it's no wonder so much research is conducted into hand tracking for computer interfaces. Now Microsoft has outlined its projects that deal with hand tracking, haptic feedback and gesture input.
  • Using your fingers on a smartphone's screen can be hard enough, with the smaller screen of a smartwatch being even more of a challenge. It was with this in mind that scientists created FingerIO, which turns such devices into sonar systems that are capable of tracking the user's finger movements.​
  • As well as displaying its BUDD-e concept at CES, Volkswagen has unveiled a new version of its e-Golf electric compact. VW says the e-Golf Touch is one of the world's first compact cars with gesture control. It also offers wireless charging, electronic voice amplification and personalization options.
  • Offering a glimpse into the future of VR input devices, one alumni of Oculus' research division has developed an electromagnetic sensor system that tracks precise fingertip movements in real time.
  • As the engineers who developed Ford's kick-activated tailgate realized a few years ago, people tend to use their feet to perform tasks when their hands are full. Now, the MIT-based creators of the KickSoul have applied the same sort of thinking to the control of electronic devices.
  • The patent-pending Kurv Guitar system is made up of a large pick-shaped air strummer and a handheld virtual fingerboard, and combines touch, motion and gestures to generate tunes based on player actions in an app running on a Bluetooth-connected smart device..
  • There have been numerous attempts to develop an alternative to the keyboard and mouse human-to-computer interface. Apotact Labs recently joined the fray with a four-finger glove-like design called Gest that allows you to control your computer and your mobile devices with your hands.
  • We test a MiPsaur robot that balances on two wheels like a Segway. It has several different ways to play, including its own interactive moving ball, a battle mode with other robots, and varying moods.
  • Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed a sensing system called LiSense that aims to make the light around us "smart." Not only does it use light to sense people’s movements, but it also allows them to control devices in their environment with simple gestures.