Hand gestures make it easy

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Looks like the Nintendo Wii has certainly sparked a revolution in more than just gaming. While most people have dismissed it as a mere gimmick, the Wii has stayed at the top of sales charts every week in Japan when it comes to home consoles, and consistently posing a fair challenge to the Xbox 360 in America. Part of the appeal would definitely be the “gimmicky” Wiimote that is often talked about, enabling casual or new gamers to pick up gaming and be of some good without having any prior experience. Australian scientists have taken this idea and came up a device which enables TV viewers to change channels, turn on the DVD player, or even turn off the TV with a simple hand gesture.

There is an integrated camera in the controller which recognizes up to seven simple hand gestures, and is smart enough to be compatible with eight different controllers around the home. This wave controller will most probably make an appearance in the market by 2010 as the development team attempts to remove any more niggling issues. This device must sit on a shelf or table which has a clear line of sight to both the TV and owner in order to work properly. While initial studies show that light sources will not affect the camera just like how the Wii’s sensor bar does not register certain movements in the presence of direct sunlight, it remains to be seen whether that holds true across all homes where some of them are always flooded with bright sunlight during the day.

The software used with the device is capable of recognizing simple, deliberate hand gestures which then sends the corresponding signal to a universal remote control that can work with the majority of TVs, video recorders, DVD players, HiFi sets, and digital set top boxes. Learning the gestures are dead simple, taking a mere five minutes for the average Joe. For example, a clenched fist signifies “start”, while an outstretched arm with closed fingers mean “power on”. A thumbs up sign means “up” and a sideways victory sign translates to “channel”. It is smart enough to tell the difference between real commands and unintentional gestures, making this a great addition to have in any living room with young children.

Source: International Reporter

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