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New gesture control technology can turn everyday objects into a TV remote

Researchers Christopher Clarke, Hans Gellersen from Lancaster University, have developed ‘Match point’ technology to turn objects into remote controls for televisions. The technology requires a webcam and works by displaying a circular widget with menu items on the television screen. It identifies rotating movement of objects like a teacup or toy car which can be used to change channels or regulate the volume.

In a paper “Matchpoint: Spontaneous spatial coupling of body movement for touchless pointing”, to be presented at the UIST2017 conference by Researchers from Lancaster University that will start from October 22 in Quebec City, Clarke and hans wrote about the ‘Matchpoint’ technology that works by displaying moving targets that orbit a small circular widget in the corner of the screen. 

Just imagine changing the channel of your TV simply by moving your cup of tea, adjusting the volume on a music player by rolling a toy car, or rotating a spatula to pause a cookery video on your tablet. New gesture control technology can turn everyday objects into remote controls could revolutionize how we interact with televisions, and other screens — ending frustrating searches for remotes that have slipped down the side of sofa cushions.

Researchers Christopher Clarke using a cup instead of TV remote

Clarke said “Everyday objects in the house can now easily become remote controls so there are no more frantic searches for remote controls when your favourite programme is about to start on another channel and now everyone in the room has the ‘remote’.

The ‘Matchpoint’ technology, which only requires a simple webcam, works by displaying moving targets that orbit a small circular widget in the corner of the screen. These targets correspond to different functions — such as volume, changing channel or viewing a menu. The user synchronises the direction of movement of the target, with their hand, head or an object, to achieve what researchers call ‘spontaneous spatial coupling’, which activates the desired function.

Researchers said: “Spontaneous spatial coupling is a new approach to gesture control that works by matching movement instead of asking the computer to recognise a specific object.

Unlike existing gesture control technology, the software does not look for a specific body part it has been trained to identify — such as a hand.

Researchers believe Matchpoint is also suitable to be used as an accessibility tool for people who are unable to use traditional pointers, such as remote controls and a mouse and keyboard.

 

Jahnavi M
Vulnerability analyst, Technical Writer, Security Blogger, Co-founder---SecKurity

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