PointGrab, now controlling TV and home appliances with finger gestures


Gesture control: it’s enough already isn’t it? Every fifteen seconds, another company releases a “revolution” in hands-free control, only for it to be the opposite of that. Even the new Xbox One’s Kinect “feels like a hindrance” said Kotaku. So can PointGrab’s new gesture tech, AirTouch and PointSwitch, make a difference to a cluttered and clumsy technology? Perhaps not, but here’s a video showing off its potential.

Here’s AirTouch

And this is PointSwitch

From eye to finger to device, AirTouch and PointSwitch are at least using different recognition technologies which hopefully translate to visual accuracy. Here’s how it works:

PointSwitch was built to control appliances in the home. So that’s lights, temperature, curtains, the stove and anything in-between because according to the video, PointSwitch can be retrofitted into any “smart” device (the company says that it’s working with household brands to accomplish this). A gesture-control chip uses the position of the eyes and fingers to gain an exact pointing spot. PointSwitch can detect gestures up to 4.5-meters away, and in the dark to boot. Most modern TVs come combined with a 2D front-facing camera, which is the only hardware requirement for PointGrab.

AirTouch uses the same depth information controls from PointSwitch, but instead turns us into remote controls. The gestures we’re all familiar with like swiping, pinch to zoom and shaking our arms around like maniacs can all be used to control TVs integrated with PointGrab technology. PointGrab’s website also says that the gesture controls will work with internet browsing and gaming, which has the potential of then turning any TVs interface into the Xbox 360’s. The site also points out that the technology is easy to develop for, and integrate into existing products.

As with every other new gadget coming out in the next few weeks, PointGrab will début its tech in Las Vegas at CES 2014.



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