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Gesture – The Panacea To All Things Touch?
If you have watched TV recently, you’ll have seen the Samsung commercial with the single, 30-ish, white guy sitting in his living room using hand gestures like a right and left swipe and a closed hand to select a movie to watch. We are led to believe that his life is everything we want ours to be because, not only does he have a bigger TV, he can control things without the use of remotes. Strange that if I recall correctly, he is sitting by himself as opposed to having a beautiful girl next to him. That might have made me envious enough to be interested in his hand gestures. “Remotes” is plural because to watch a DVD in my house, I need at least two of them. I am not an early adopter of this type of technology because I don’t typically have the patience to learn a new language which includes sign language and I don’t spend my money unless I really think it would make my life markedly more pleasurable (i.e. I am cheap). So, I am happy with remotes especially if my kids would put them back in their special spot on the DVD after using them.
The automotive guys are thinking of using gesture in conjunction with the LCD screens found in the center console of newer cars these days. Depending on the letter following your brand of car, DX, LX, EX, E, ES, i, etc., these screens show a spectrum of things from just radio and climate information to camera- and internet-based Skype or FaceTime calls. The screens are resistive touch now, quickly moving to capacitive touch next year and even moving to Neonode-like infrared touch screens in 2015. They want to integrate gesture.
In the interest of full disclosure, my employer, whom I like a lot, is demonstrating an incredibly inexpensive method of adding touchless swipe right, swipe left, proximity and tap control to any device by using our VCNL3020 digital proximity sensor and two discrete infrared emitters. By adding a third emitter, circular gestures are possible. More>>
Why add gesture? Frankly, I think it would be a distraction for the driver. If I want to change the radio channel I can simply reach out and touch a big button with the number 1 through 5 on it. I could also use the smaller button on my steering column to do the same thing but have never taken the time to learn how to use it; same with volume except I turn a big knob. I don’t answer my Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone because they will leave a message, the sound quality is crappy, and I will be either at home or in the office within 20 minutes and can return the call. Even if you are in high school, it can wait.
Just because the TV guys are doing it and some iPad applications support it, doesn’t mean the car guys need it. I don’t see an application for it. Better to spend your time on adding auto-dimming rear view mirrors using our VEML6030X01 ambient light sensor (shameless marketing).
Think you’ll be waving your hand in the air at a screen near you anytime soon?