Touchscreen is cool, but touchless is even cooler. And if a small company XTR3D has its way, we might be getting more of the touchless experience from our TVs and smartphones really soon. XTR3D has developed a Kinect-like system that recognizes your gestures and uses them to control various devices.
There’s no need for remote controls or touching the actual device, you just wave your hand and, for example, the next channel comes up or the volume increases. The XTR3D technology also allows hands-free operation of your smartphone, which sounds really convenient for use while driving.
Despite the similar results, XTR3D uses a completely different technology to Microsoft’s Kinect. The software they have developed doesn’t require the fancy (and expensive) depth sensors, but uses ordinary 2D cameras instead, so it can make do with your smartphone’s front-facing camera for example.
According to the engineers who devised this, this technology is also extremely power-efficient, so adding gesture based controls shouldn’t affect battery life of portable devices greatly.
We see a couple of potential problems in the description of the XTR3D technology, though. For one, it’s harder to analyze 2D footage and detect gestures than it is for 3D, so it will either require huge processing power or it risks lacking in accuracy. Poor lighting will also cause headaches as it will further complicate the processing.
Also, no matter how efficient the software itself is, running the front facing camera on a smartphone for such a long time is bound to bring its battery down quite quickly. So, we’d say the future of this technology really belongs to the TV world and possibly integrated car navigation and infotainment systems.
Only time will tell if the project takes off the ground, but XTR3D are keeping their finger crossed for actual devices with their technology to become available as soon as next year.