The Future Will Be Hands-Free: The Latest In Gesture-Based Projects
Ever since gesture-based technology appeared on the market and Minority Report basically became reality, developers and programmers have been looking at ways to fine-tune the as yet emerging technology, making it ever more intuitive and precise and battling it out for a share of the market. Their advancements and innovative concepts are sure to change the way people interact with their digital devices, and perhaps signify the end of an era and the beginning of another where through the use of technology the goal is to feel like if there is none.
In 2010 we covered the gestural interfaces hackers were coming up with for Kinect, like an interactive puppet prototype. Then came along LEAP, the 3D motion control device that purports to have 200 times greater sensitivity than Kinect, further pushed the bounds of what’s possible.
Since the LEAP hype died down laste year, we’ve heard mixed reports from artists and creative coders about its actual capabilities. But a series of video experiments from Robert Hodgins may change that view. LEAP Flocking lets participants control a flock of fish with the motion of their fingers–slow movements allow the fish to flow towards glowing points, and fast movements frighten the fish, and cause disorder in the flock. In LEAP Gravitation people can control a geometric, semi-abstract version of their hand skeleton that is surrounded by small balls that hover in the space. A ball with low gravitational force appears on the palm by curling the fingertips, and by straightening them the ball becomes larger as its gravitational force increases.
Video and Photos Courtesy of Robert Hodgins
This week another gesture-based product caught our attention—MYO is a wearable armband that, unlike the LEAP and the Kinect, uses tactile feedback technology to detect the muscles in your arm, which activate digital devices through vibrations and motion sensors.
Video and Photo Courtesy of MYO
It’s an interesting shift to wearables that throws a curveball on the gesture interaction scene. Despite the benefits, we wonder what artists might find appealing from the MYO bracelet that is mobile, but restrains gestures by containing them in set operations.
The coming-of-age of gesture-based interfaces is inevitable at a time when people crave easier, faster and more intuitive modes of interactions with technology. By replacing keyboards, mouses and drawing tablets for physical gestures, developers are humanizing technology. Looming, yet full of possibilities, the question still stands—is technology becoming more human, or are humans becoming more technological?