The release of Samsung’s new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, is a good time to talk about gesture recognition. The phone includes features called “Air Gesture” and “Air View” that allow a user to control the phone without actually touching it. A sensor can tell when a finger is hovering over the phone’s screen or swiping past it. (You can imagine it’s a great idea for using your phone if your hands are sticky from candy, for instance.)
But gesture recognition has been around a while and figures to become increasingly common in the way we interact with electronics. The Xbox 360’s Kinect sensor uses a camera and lasers to scan a player’s body and detect movements that can control a game or manipulate the controls in apps like Netflix. And in July, a device called Leap Motion is expected to debut. It’s a simple USB device for computers that will add gesture recognition to some PC and Mac games: instead of using a mouse and keyboard, you might move your fingers or swing your hands over it to blast enemies or move around.
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