As much as we’d love to be knee-deep in the future, playing around with our holographic computers, or swiping our hands all over the place to navigate from one web page to another, right now it’s all just a pipe dream. except for those few, awesome prototype products out there. Touchscreens are one thing, but we want to wave our hand in front of our computer screen and make magic happen. And we don’t want to pay a hefty sum for it. Thanks to Toshiba and their AirSwing concept, that is getting closer to reality.
DigInfo.tv managed to grab some face time with the gesture-based User Interface (UI), which Toshiba is calling AirSwing, and while there’s obviously some kinks they have to iron out, the meat of the story is pretty good. Especially the details. According to NEC, the UI only runs on 4 percent of the processing power on a 400MHz ARM 11 CPU. The cheap part comes in the fact that Toshiba claims you will only need a standard webcam, to get things rolling.
So how does it work? Basically, the UI puts a transparent image of yourself onto your screen, and from there it will display a menu and some content that you can manipulate. From there, you’ll be able to move your transparent self around the screen, where you’ll be able to interact with what’s there just by simple gestures, like flicking through pictures in a photo gallery. The bad news, though, is that Toshiba plans to market AirSwing not to the rest of the world, but to digital signage folks, so that they can get a far more interactive “commercial” experience. Pretty cool if we can see it on our advertisements in bus stops, so we can have something to do while we wait.