Will Gesture Recognition Reach its Potential?

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gesture-0113In the run up to the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show next week in Las Vegas, I find an increasing level of interest in a variety of gesture recognition technologies. Leap Motion, eyeSight and Tobii Technology are among the firms planning to use CES to showcase their latest developments in non-touch gesture recognition technology.

Today, Leap has announced that it has secured $30 million in Series B funding and its first global OEM partnership with personal computer maker ASUS. Leap Motion’s non-contact motion controller technology can track hand and finger movements to 1/100th millimeter. The Leap Motion controller has a 150-degree field of view, and tracks individual hands and all 10 fingers at 290 frames per second.

Since announcing its motion controller technology in May 2012, Leap has delivered 12,000 Leap Motion devices and software development kits to developers to encourage adoption of their technology. Developers have been quick to utilize the Leap Motion controllers to realize new gesture input applications. Developer Adam Somers has posted a video (below) of his AirHarp application that illustrates the responsive nature of the Leap Motion controller. LabVIEW developers have also been busy creating Leap Motion applications including a quadrotor flight controller as shown here.

Also at CES, eyeSight and Tobii will be launching gesture recognition technologies involving hand gestures (eyeSight) and eye tracking and gaze interaction (Tobii). eyeSight’s offering (see video here) is a software-based technology that utilizes camera hardware, as present in many of today’s devices including tablets and smartphones, to enable robust gesture recognition using only a standard 2D camera. eyeSight claims that its solution is appropriate for handheld devices used at close range as well as longer range applications such as televisions and set top boxes.

Tobii Technology is announcing at CES 2013 its Tobii REX gaze interaction peripheral for the consumer electronics market. The Tobii REX device enables users to control their computer by combining their eye gaze with other controls including touch screen, mouse and keyboard. The Tobii REX peripheral adds eye gaze control features to any Windows 8 PC. The Tobii REX adheres to the bottom of a desktop monitor and is connected to the computer via a USB connection. At CES Tobii will demonstrate several aspects of their Gaze platform including: Gaze Select, Gaze Scroll, Gaze Zoom and Gaze Navigate. Tobii describes the utility of its eye tracking technology in the video below. Tobii will be showing its eye tracking and gaze interaction technology at the 2013 CES Unveiled press event on Sunday, January 6.

So it appears there will be some interesting new developments in gesture recognition technologies and applications at CES 2013. Starting at CES Unveiled on Sunday, I will be seeking out the latest developments and reporting my findings for Insight Media. Hope to see you in Las Vegas.