Will 2011 be the year of gesture-controlled computing? It remains to be seen, but some of the biggest TV and computer manufacturers are betting that users want to ditch the mouse and the remote control and wave instead of click to play games, listen to music and surf the net.
Microsoft’s Kinect, the motion-sensing games controller, was launched last year and it uses a series of cameras in a sensor unit that records body movements along with voice recognition for playing games as well as playing music and movies.
At this year’s CES, Asus launched the WAVI Xtion which uses the same technology and demonstrates that the gesture-controlled technology isn’t restricted to gaming. The WAVI Xtion provides the link between the computer and the TV for playing multimedia content, accessing the web, viewing digital photos and so on. It uses an Xtion sensor for the TV and two Wavi boxes that connect first to the sensor and then to the PC for human control-free interaction.
And there may yet be more to come with several other TV manufacturers Haier, TCL and Hisense interested in bringing gesture control to TV and maybe other home entertainment devices. Lenovo has demonstrated multimedia centre PCs that uses gesture control and the company has already launched the Ebox, a gaming unit similar to the Kinect, in China.
So we’ve seen a glimpse of the potential of gesture-control gaming and computing, but it’s definitely a case of ‘watch this space’ to see if the devices live up to the hype and what other applications may be in store.