April 29, 2010

High-Speed Camera Enables Touchless Gesture Control of Smartphones

Ishikawa Komuro Laboratory in Tokyo has enabled mobile devices to touchlessly recognize movements and gestures from user's fingers. This technology will soon make new touchscreen smartphones obsolete. This system uses a high speed camera and a Lukas-kanade Algorithm to determine where the user’s finger is in a 3D environment. This technology will enable smartphones to be controlled with out any contact to the screen. The high speed camera tracks the finger in a 3D space so if your phone has specific 3D painter software, you will be able to create 3D images on your phone. The high speed camera also will allow “in-air typing” to replace the phone’s keyboard. The phone will also be able to zoom just by moving your fingers closer to the camera. I think that this will not be as popular as the touchscreen because it will require a rather large camera at the bottom of it (as pictured below) so it will not be as convenient. Another reason this will fail is that the keyboard is really hard to control and people already do not like the touchscreen version (like the iPhone or iPod touch’s keyboard). This will be cool to have but it is not practical.