Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Displays GUI Input Devices Technology

Touchless Gesture User Interfaces 123

Posted by samzenpus
from the wave-of-your-hand dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Elliptic Labs is set to debut their Touchless Gesture User Interface technology which uses ultrasound to let the user navigate through a device's commands simply with the motion of their hands. From the article: 'Elliptic plans to showcase their “Mimesign” technology at IFA in Berlin from the 3rd to 8th of September 2010. Mimesign will bring intuitive ways for people to interact with devices. The possibilities range from tablets, remote controls or in-car media controls. The interface is based on ultrasound technology and allows the user to remain in an unchanged state.'"

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Touchless Gesture User Interfaces

Comments Filter:
  • Wonderful (Score:4, Informative)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @07:11PM (#33376180) Homepage
    So, instead of people simply talking into bluetooth mics, gesturing wildly in space and acting like a schizophrenic off their meds, you're simultaneously going to have people waving their arms around like they are conducting a symphony.

    Yep, cubicleville is going to get even weirder than it already is.
    • Yeah. The guys who gravitate to management positions because they are better at handwaving than ...
      uhm ...
      doing actual work.

      (Yeah, that's what I mean.)

    • I'm not sure but I think someone with Parkinson's is going to have a really bad time with this ...
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      you're simultaneously going to have people waving their arms around like they are conducting a symphony.

      Yep, cubicleville is going to get even weirder than it already is.

      What's wrong with this? The Italians are doing it already for ages, should be already a relief for their programmers that needed to restrain themselves during work hours!

    • by grcumb (781340)

      So, instead of people simply talking into bluetooth mics, gesturing wildly in space and acting like a schizophrenic off their meds, you're simultaneously going to have people waving their arms around like they are conducting a symphony. Yep, cubicleville is going to get even weirder than it already is.

      I'm more worried about in-car devices misinterpreting people who talk with their hands. I can just see the headlines:

      300 DEAD IN ITALIAN ROAD APOCALYPSE

      or:

      DEAF HACKER CULT SCARE

    • It will be hard to treat yourself to a little porn. The screen would keep on shifting up or down.
    • Look on the bright side- next time you give windows the finger it will know what you mean !

    • Already did something like this with a P5 pointer glove and StrokeIt on Windows. It would have been a really cool system if the P5 glove's tension sensors (straps on your fingers that will register a click once a certain tension is reached. They're useful as analog axes...LOL j/k) weren't a total PITA to calibrate. But yeah your arm did get tired after a while, so it's not something you'd want to use every day.

    • Well it is a simple way to keep the Asylums free of the harmless crazy people. As they will just fit into society and now knowing that they are actually not using any device.

      The first time I saw someone use a bluetooth headset I kinda walked to the other end of the road as I was thinking to myself man that guy isn't right. Now I can see any bum on the street talking to himself I just go yea he is probably on the phone.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdotNO@SPAMhackish.org> on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @07:15PM (#33376208)

    In glorious future, we operate our computers as if they were theremins!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I still prefer the future in which we operate our computers as if they were extension of or brain's synapse.

    • by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @07:41PM (#33376402) Homepage Journal

      Theremins are cool, but...
      Thankfully, no, future interfaces will also let our arms rest, and we won't have to wave our arms around like Tom Cruise. Because of what's known as the gorilla arm syndrome, any user interface that requires users to lift their arms for any length of time is doomed to fail in the long run.

      Sure, this might be viable for operations you seldom do, like dimming the lights or turning on a monitor, but it won't be viable for any prolonged use.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Because of what's known as the gorilla arm syndrome, any user interface that requires users to lift their arms for any length of time is doomed to fail in the long run.

        You must have a girlfriend.

      • Because of what's known as the gorilla arm syndrome, any user interface that requires users to lift their arms for any length of time is doomed to fail in the long run.

        Or we could just genetically engineer us a lot more upper-body strength.

      • Sure, this might be viable for operations you seldom do, like dimming the lights or turning on a monitor, but it won't be viable for any prolonged use.

        Not only that, gestures appear to be quite slow.

        You might think that it's not really a problem because you don't do that many and so on average you have time enough. While true, that overlooks an important issue: the system is often hung waiting for user input.

        Let's take the application example from the video: photo browsing. Let's say I want to find a particular photo in some linear collection. What am I going to do? Linear search, i.e. "look at one; is it that one? yes=return, no=goto next and repeat

      • Because of what's known as the gorilla arm syndrome, any user interface that requires users to lift their arms for any length of time is doomed to fail in the long run.

        Like the Wii?

        • by arth1 (260657)

          Indeed. The Wii is quickly becoming the George Foreman grill of today; the novelty wears off, people stop using it, and it ends up in the basement.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            The difference is that the george foreman grill can cook chicken, or hamburgers, or a boneless pork chop, but the Wii can only make you look like an idiot as you wave your arms around, or an even bigger idiot (paradoxically) as you hold mostly still, occasionally twitching spasmodically.

    • In glorious future, we operate our computers as if they were girls!

      • By lying to them and buying them expensive presents?

        • >By lying to them and buying them expensive presents?

          I was going to say by coating them in our erm DNA... but most of the people on /. already operate their computers that way. There's probably an entire lost generation dried up inside old discarded keyboards by now.

          • Discarded? *sideways head confused dog look*
            • Well once there's too much DNA in a keyboard it usually gets discarded, since the keys tend to get too sticky to type on... or so I've heard.

              • I think most of us here in basement land hold onto our Model M regardless of what may or may not allegedly get in there, hence the confused look.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Dr Max (1696200)

        In glorious future, we operate our computers as if they were girls!

        Don’t get me wrong I have had some great times with girls. But if I tell a computer to rewind the movie to the beginning of the scene I want it to rewind, not start an hour long story about what her day was like only to continue to, that I’m not doing enough house work, to giving me dirty looks for a while before starting a completely different movie (and thats not even in her special time of the month). Not to mention all the extra money you'll spend on flowers and chocolate, or how geeky you'l

        • Boy am I glad I'm Asian... I don't know any girls like that.
          • by Dr Max (1696200)
            Asia dose all right in that regard, but the Muslims take the cake with MULTIPLE obedient wives. that's how the computer being a woman thing could work. Other wise it will get all jealous when you use that whore the toaster that goes up and down for anyone. not to mention what would happen if you came home with a new mobile phone.

            For the record crazy bitches can be a lot of fun.

      • by c0lo (1497653)
        What do you mean? Pick from the list or add your own choice:
        • the relation with your girl-friend will become "look, gesture, waive ...(whatever)... but don't touch, you filthy animal!"
        • do occasionally slap your girl-friend when frustrated. (this will happen when the gesture-enabled UI becoming unresponsive. And hey, being a mechanical shock, this may actually work on ultrasonic interfaces!)
        • I was waiting for the person who operated it to "slap" a picture of a person, but they managed to avoid it. So far you have two speeds for the backhand slap, and two for the forehand slap. Will the third speed be a punch? What happens if you headbutt it?
    • by dangitman (862676)

      Do we get to operate our theremins as if they were computers?

    • Is this going to skip Steve Jobs' patent on touching screens with two fingers since there is no touching?
  • Get yer shotguns.
  • HHTG (Score:5, Funny)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @07:16PM (#33376220) Homepage Journal

    To keep watching the same program you must remain absolutely still in front of the TV.

    But seriously, the gesture to shut something down would require exactly one finger...

    • by alanebro (1808492)

      Haha, nice one.

      How would you propose to turn it on then?

    • by dangitman (862676)

      But seriously, the gesture to shut something down would require exactly one finger...

      I prefer to use the whole fist.

    • But seriously, the gesture to shut something down would require exactly one finger...

      Pfft. That's been around for decades. The SNES manual tells you to shut off the machine by flipping-off the power switch!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by richlv (778496)

      i'm less concerned about sitting still, but more about "The interface is based on ultrasound technology and allows the user to remain in an unchanged state." part.

      are there solutions that require changing state to/from solid/liquid/gas ?

  • Hmm, whatever that means. I for my part remain in an unimpressed state. While the idea is good, the obvious lag renders the handling rather clumsy. Combine that with no haptic feedback and the idea isn't so good anymore.

    • Think of the wonders the conductor of an orchestra can accomplish, or even the effects of an incompetent conductor :) without external physical feedback at all (discounting the resultant sound waves.) Perhaps this kind of sensitivity to motions will progress as slowly as true AI with respect to lag but I can see some serious changes coming down the road....

      • by arth1 (260657)

        Perhaps this kind of sensitivity to motions will progress as slowly as true AI with respect to lag but I can see some serious changes coming down the road....

        My fear is that we'll see a bunch of hand-waving drivers coming down the road...

        • My fear is that we'll see a bunch of hand-waving drivers coming down the road...

          Not a day goes by that I *don't* see that...

      • by elFisico (877213)

        Think of the wonders the conductor of an orchestra can accomplish

        Well, think about the magic that an orchestra really performs! Musicians are not reacting to the gestures of the conductor, they predict them so they can stay ahead... and in sync. This prediction capability won't come to computing devices for quite some time, I'll predict...

        • Yes. But, it could work to control the sound-generating element of a partial orchestra (orchestras that cut costs by laying off some of their musicians and play their parts with a synthesizer).

          Though wouldn't a few accelerometers inside the conductor's electronic wand be a more proven method of control?
          • by elFisico (877213)

            Though wouldn't a few accelerometers inside the conductor's electronic wand be a more proven method of control?

            You still need prediction because the musicians physical actions need to predate the conductors wand by several tenths of seconds.

        • by pspahn (1175617)

          This prediction capability won't come to computing devices for quite some time, I'll predict...

          Let me get right on that.

  • This video is like watching a cat in slow motion.

  • HHGTG (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sharkey (16670) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @07:36PM (#33376358)
    Sounds like the radio on the Heart of Gold to me.
  • Wow, just like Star Trek TOS!!!

    Oh, I know... most of you (except hard core Trekkies, or someone like me who helps make the stuff [startreknewvoyages.com]) miss the reference. Watch "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and you will see them using gesture based computing. Sadly, the concept didnt make it beyond the second pilot (probably because it was too ahead of it's time and would not be a recognizable input method, unlike the even greater quantity of buttons used in the 2nd episode onwards to replace gesture computing).

    Yet another

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by R3d M3rcury (871886)

      In Star Wars, Darth Vader uses gesture-based technology to strangle people and make stuff fly around the room. That's much cooler than anything Star Trek could come up with.

      • by blair1q (305137)

        I use gesture-based computing to enter and exit the grocery store.

        Not like I can post to /. from there or anything, but it's a prototype.

        • by delinear (991444)
          I guess you could use the automatic door mechanism as a binary input device, but it might be a bit long-winded. On the plus side you'd get a great workout posting to /.
    • There was quite a bit of gesture-based interfaces (particularly piloting) in Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict. Not sure if it was Gene who put in in there as it debuted after his death.
  • The interface is based on ultrasound technology and allows the user to remain in an unchanged state.

    Exactly how do you remain in an "Unchanged State" and still provide "Motion"??

    • by blair1q (305137)

      I haven't got that far. I'm still trying to figure out what "navigate through a devices" means.

    • by arth1 (260657)

      Exactly how do you remain in an "Unchanged State" and still provide "Motion"??

      Well, it is ultrasound, so presumably it could react to the motions of someone's fetus even though the lady doesn't move...

      But really, I think they might mean that an "unchanged state" is seen as one type of command, and "motion" as another. Which isn't all that different from today's IR detectors.

  • Touchless porn. Think about it.
  • Heres a gesture for you:

    [Flips middle finger]

    Interface *THAT* you stupid computer!

  • Isn't this what Kinect is all about anyway?
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gesture_recognition#.22Gorilla_arm.22 [wikipedia.org] or may be it should be Zombie arm
  • I misread... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @07:58PM (#33376514) Homepage

    I misread the headline as "Useless gesture interface". I'm not so certain that's wrong.

    Seriously, people already have a hard enough time using computers. Humans in general simply aren't perceptive enough to realize "clockwise swirly motion" means refresh the browser page. Then there's the complications of positioning, and people who talk with their hands... ...I think I'll stick to a mouse. Thanks.

    • Humans in general simply aren't perceptive enough to realize "clockwise swirly motion" means refresh the browser page.

      I don't remember which versions of which browser this was in, but in several of them the "back" button was an arrow that went "up" and "left", while the forward arrow was "up" and "right". The Enter key is traditionally "down" and "left". The refresh button is usually a "rotating" arrow. If you want to "play" media, hit the "play arrow". If you want to fast-forward, click the double-right arrow. If you want to move forward on a list, click the double-right arrow with a line after it, not to be confused with

  • Nintendo Power Glove (Score:3, Informative)

    by technomancerX (86975) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @08:04PM (#33376554) Homepage

    This is the same basic tech that was used to track position on the old Nintendo Power Glove, and having used it and written drivers to interface it to a PC, it isn't accurate enough to work for anything finer grained than what's shown in the video. So if you want to control something using large, sweeping, ungainly hand gestures this is the tech you want.

  • I just got an email that reads:

    FAP! FAP! FAP! FAP! FAP!

  • The gestures for this prototype require way too much effort and are too slow for the simplest tasks. One wave = one tap = one press of a key. You need to use your whole arm, not just one finger. They haven't implemented circular motion recognition for extended scrolling. Can you imagine a review of this device? "It was neat for the first minute, but my arm got tired after scrolling through the first picture album. If you need to rid yourself of some underarm flab, this device is for you. Everyone else, stay
    • Exactly my thoughts. For all of the intended uses in the summary (tablets, in car media, and remote controls), you would be close enough to actually touch it, thus avoiding all the extra movement. It's also a safety risk in the car; we use steering wheel controls and voice command in the car in order to keep our hands ON the wheel. People can't even check their mirrors without swerving in the direction they're looking, I don't have much hope for the use of something like this.
      • by delinear (991444)
        It might have some limited application - hospitals spring to mind, and by extension public terminals, airports and the like. Places where lots of people congregate together to share their interesting diseases, where you might want touch screen inputs but you don't particularly want to have to touch them. Other than that, you're right - for activating equipment you're close enough to touch the equipment (and can you imagine a stereo that jumps to full volume or a TV that changes channel any time someone walk
  • from The Guide (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tyme (6621) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @09:25PM (#33376994) Homepage Journal

    from the first paragraph of chapter 12 of HHGTTG:

    "For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive -- you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same programme."

  • American Sign Language

    Apparently it is not high enough resolution that it would allow you to use ASL for input. It looks like cameras are still the best gesture input devices.

    -- Terry

  • What, no mention of the "revolutionary" U-Force controller for the old 8-bit NES ?

    I have fond memories of trying to play SMB3 on that thing. I did find one cool secret move though: if you smash it into a million pieces, you immediately and permanently gain +3 charisma.

  • This just isn't going to catch on.
    The reason touch screens can work if done properly is that it is an easy intuitive interaction which has very defined parameters (ie touching the screen and moving your finger around) which is a piece of cake to pick up, and not easy to make a lot of mistakes with. Waving your hand around in the air is practically the exact opposite of all that: difficult to understand (what else do we interact with like that?), hard to pick up anything other than very simple motions (how d

    • >what else do we interact with like that?

      Each other. Gestures and body language is probably the oldest and best established form of human communication predating spoken word by millions of years.

    • You know, a lot of the comments on this post remind me of the comments from a few years back saying how touch-screen was overrated and would never work. And now every other phone I see has a touch-screen and iPads are just taking off.

      Maybe wait and see, huh?

  • by RevWaldo (1186281) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @10:43PM (#33377414)
    Watching their human helplessly and impotently flail his/her arms about in the direction of this thing making this godawful ultrasonic racket their pitiful master seems unable to stop. I fear many a pricey device are going to fall victim to a sudden outbreak of misplaced canine heroics.

    .
    • by Jedi Alec (258881)

      Why does that conjure up a picture of a German Sheppard sitting there wagging his tail with a keyboard in his mouth? :)

  • I mis-read the first line to be from Epileptic Labs. I was aghast that a company could somehow associate epilepsy with some sort of gesture based interface.
  • Its really amazing. Apple patent seeks to lock up jailbroken iPhones [personalmoneystore.com] really grows too fast. This will bring intuitive ways for people to interact with devices. The possibilities will range from tablets, remote controls or in-car media controls is really a wonderful news. This will mean that I can pimp slap my way through this gadgets. I.m so excited having this gadget for my self.
  • when i first heard about the xbox kinect (nee natal) i thought it'd be great if it ever gets hacked to work with linux, or even windows, so we could use it in media centres and htpcs. this kind of gesture recognition is only useful for sporadic instructions though. scrolling up and down, turning the volume up etc, and only if you can do it by moving your hand, not your arms
  • That will be helpful for physically challenged too.
  • Basically an IR motion detector, usually an IR emitter (pulsed to save power and extend life of the emitter), and an IR detector set up to watch for the IR signal reflected of the users hands.
  • Gotta say i was somewhat impressed by this technology. But i think it needs to be tweaked. I think after this sort of gesturing gets more refined we may see it more. I don't like the idea of having to wave my arm at something to see the next picture. But if it were good enough to detect each finger it could potentially be a very good interface. After the revolution we have seen with touch technology, which started with clunky pens and moved on to fingers, seeing this start as a wild arm flailing makes me ho

When you don't know what you are doing, do it neatly.

Working...