gesture control

ForcePhone lets you squeeze your phone to do things

ForcePhone lets you squeeze your phone to do things

When Apple introduced Force Touch and 3D Touch, it expanded the vocabulary of gestures we can use on smartphones by 1. However, it is still touch-based, short of mind control, the number of ways we can interact with our smartphones are basically limited to touch, voice, and some rudimentary Jedi hand waves. Engineers from the University of Michigan are working on yet another gesture, one that is both interesting yet almost comical at the same time. They want you to be able to squeeze your smartphone, not to death, but to control it.

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Knocki makes any surface a smart remote control

Knocki makes any surface a smart remote control

If you watched much TV in the last decade or so, you will remember the commercials for The Clapper. This was a gadget that could turn off the lights for you if you clapped. The modern version of The Clapper is a new device called Knocki that is able to turn any surface into a remote control for all manner of devices and software. Knocki attaches to a surface and turns that entire surface, be it a table, wall, or counter, into a touch interface.

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Elliptic Labs shows first Ultrasound UI for smart devices

Elliptic Labs shows first Ultrasound UI for smart devices

Fortunately the folks at Elliptic Labs are not making smart wearable devices for fetuses. What they're introducing instead is the world's first "EASY IoT software" that works with Ultrasound presence detection and gestures to command smart devices of all sorts. This is an Internet of Things-centric technology, detecting your body or just your hand, setting itself into waiting or active mode, ready to be used at your command. It's sort of like a remote start for your car - you're not in the car yet, but the car is already running.

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How Apple’s VR hire leads to a gesture-controlled car

How Apple’s VR hire leads to a gesture-controlled car

Apple reported to hire Doug A Bowman, a virtual reality specialist, 3D interface specialist, and computer science professor at Virginia Tech. Bowman is also Director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech, and primary investigator for the 3D Interaction Group at Virginia Tech. This group participates in a "worldwide community of scholars and researchers in VR, AR, and 3D UIs". It may be that Apple is dipping their big toe into the virtual reality universe - or it could just be that Apple is thinking about how to make their Apple Car a unique proposition indeed.

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Elliptic’s Ultrasonic gestures for mobile can make you feel like Jedi

Elliptic’s Ultrasonic gestures for mobile can make you feel like Jedi

While this year we might see more and more manufacturers adopt "3D Touch" technology for their touchscreens, Elliptic Labs is trying to push a different way to make more expressive controls for smartphones and tablets. Almost llke a Jedi, Elliptic's ultrasonic gesture recognition system can let users wave or "force push" their way to taking selfies, playing games, or just simply navigating around the smartphone. And best of all, at least for OEMs, they won't need specialized hardware to make it all happen.

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Myo gesture control band controls MPL prosthetic arm

Myo gesture control band controls MPL prosthetic arm

The Modular Prosthetic Limb has suddenly become a lot more versatile as the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory-developed prosthetic works with the Myo armband. The Myo armband is a gesture-control accessory that allows people to control all manner of devices and software as it senses movements in their arm*. Muscles expand and contract and the armband sends signals wirelessly to other devices. In this case, it means that the armbands are able to give this MPL arm movement.

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FingerAngle challenges 3D Touch with finger angle recognition

FingerAngle challenges 3D Touch with finger angle recognition

Researchers at Qeexo, a spin-off of Carnegie Mellon University, have developed a technology for interacting with touchscreens that easily rivals Apple's 3D Touch and its pressure-sensitivity features. It's called FingerTouch, and instead of relying on display hardware, it's an algorithm that can determine the exact angle at which a finger is making contact with the screen. Because it's software based, it can work with the existing display hardware that's widely available.

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Strap can read arm muscle movement to control smartwatch

Strap can read arm muscle movement to control smartwatch

There have been several attempts made to give users Jedi-like powers to control computers and smartphones using a combination of a smartwatch and some gestures. But what if you wanted to control the smartwatch itself using a gesture? It might still be a long time coming as a commercial product, but the journey has already been started by researchers Chris Harrison and Yang Zhang from the Human Computer Interaction group at Carnegie Mellon U. Their prototype wrist strap can see inside the arm and track muscles, which can be interpreted as gestures to control a device.

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New Synaptics touch controller could give Android a 3D Touch

New Synaptics touch controller could give Android a 3D Touch

Apple introduced the idea of a new way of interacting with touch gestures, first with Force Touch and then with 3D Touch on the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Naturally, it will become the next trendy technology that everyone will vie for. Luckily for everyone else, Synaptics has come out with some new touch controllers that could give smartphones like those running on Android exactly that. Calling it ClearForce, Synapitics is introducing a new way to interact with smartphones and expanding the current gesture beyond the current tap, swipe, and pinch.

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Apple Watch patent lets you fist bump to share files

Apple Watch patent lets you fist bump to share files

Apple may have invented AirDrop to make wireless sharing of files a breeze, easier than NFC even, but that same convenience doesn't exactly translate to the Apple Watch, where screen space and taps are at a premium. Luckily, Apple has a few things in mind. It has recently filed a patent that details the use of gestures, from handshakes to high fives and even to respectful bows, to initiate and exchange of information. Sometimes, it can even do all of those automatically with very little or no user intervention.

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Deus Ex Aria controls smartwatches with finger flicks

Deus Ex Aria controls smartwatches with finger flicks

No, it's not the name of a new game or even an accessory for a Square Enix game, but it does veer close to the topic of seemingly hi-tech devices. As a device, Aria is actually quite simple, either a Bluetooth clip or a watch strap. But in action, it gets pretty complicated. Almost like magic, it allows you to control your smartwatch just using finger gestures, freeing your other hand's fingers for other tasks. And since smartwatches these days connect to and control almost anything and everything, your fingers can control those as well.

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Aria remote navigates your smartwatch with getsures

Aria remote navigates your smartwatch with getsures

It takes two hands to access all of the features that a smartwatch has to offer. If you are carrying heavy bags, cooking, or otherwise have your hands full, a smartwatch's functionality is basically off-limits. Soon, a new smartwatch remote control could let you operate your apps without ever having to touch the smartwatch screen. Aria, under development by Deus Ex Technology, wants to give you the ability to control your smartwatch by one-handed gestures.

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