How Touchless Interfaces Will Redefine Mobile

Using a standard mobile video camera with object recognition software, a whole new way to interact with mobile devices is in the works. Natural, intuitive body movements and gestures will soon activate and control software applications ranging from productivity tools to interactive games.

Here are a few examples of touchless gestures:

  • Wave your hand to scroll through a document
  • Point at an icon to activate an application
  • Shoot a gun in an action game

In essence, you can point, click, drag, scroll, zoom and rotate with simple hand movements that never touch the screen. Texas Instruments and XTR 3D have teamed to develop a set of software components to improve the way we interface and interact with mobile devices. Here’s a brief video that demonstrates the technology:

So, what can we expect the future to hold for mobile software that can detect our physical gestures and recognize objects with a great deal of accuracy? What will happen with the confluence of more capable smart phones, faster processing speed via cloud computing (where thousands of computers are available on-demand) and 4G LTE networks that could provide up to 10x current speeds?

Pranav Mistry may have the answer. Among many honors, Pranav was recently awarded  ‘Invention of the Year 2009’ by Popular Science for his work on SixthSense, a combination miniature projector, webcam and notebook computer. According to Pranav, we’ll soon have the ability to paint the physical world with digital information rather than confine pixels to the device. In a number of compelling examples, he demonstrates how we will be able to use any surface, any wall as an interface and our own gestures to interact. Check out Pranav’s demonstration at TEDIndia:

Part II

Pranav Mistry identifies himself as a “Designeer.” He’s a former UX Researcher with Microsoft. He received his Master in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT and Master of Design from IIT Bombay. Currently, Pranav is a Research Assistant and PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab.

As he sets out to make connections between the physical world and the digital world, Pranav hopes to make computing interfaces fluid and more intuitive for the masses. Furthermore, his aim is to allow us to get away from traditional computer settings and out interacting with the world.

Recent developments in mobile embedded video projection, video capture and cloud computing will likely consolidate concepts like SixthSense into one singular device.

I look forward to following Pranav‘s continued research and achievements. He’s truly a mobile visionary and one to watch.

Tim CascioTim Cascio is the author of the Mobile Marketing, Monetization and Methods blog, Co-Founder/Co-Chair of the Mobile Visionary Roundtable at the Illinois Technology Association and Sr. Digital Strategist at Bader Rutter & Associates, an award-winning integrated marketing services agency that specializes in advertising, public relations, brand asset management, relationship marketing and digital solutions. Tim is @timcascio on Twitter and can be reached in the United States at 262-938-5543.

Please reach out to me if there’s any way I can help you through my network or otherwise. Your comments below are welcome.

Author: Tim Cascio

I specialize in development of highly measurable marketing and communications strategies that integrate digital tactics to achieve accelerated growth.

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