New Ways to Interact with Devices

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motionfairSwiping and touching are nowadays common ways to interact with our mobile devices, computer, TVs and other gadgets. But is it possible to communicate with these devices without touching their screens at all? EyeSight Technologies (Israel) developed the interaction with devices in a touch-based style, but without the actual touching. In fact, you just have to point your finger at the screen from the distance (for example, 15 feet away, while lying in a sofa and watching TV). By moving your finger in the air, you control the cursor on the screen and when you want to tap, you do a virtual (in the air) click. It is like your finger is a wireless mouse. At this moment there is a little lag between the cursor movement and the finger gesture, but in general this technology works well for simple interactions with bigger screens.

The gesture technology is likely to make a complement to already existing input methods and as the technology improves and develops, it will be more and more available to users world-wide. Microsoft Kinect motion-sensing technology is more expensive and it requires 2 special cameras. Microsoft has been selling this hardware (Kinect for Windows) to developers since February 2013 and now we can see more and more products based on it appearing. Kinect sensor is optimized for use with Windows Embeded-based devices and others that run Windows 7 or Windows 8.  Motionfair is an online market/app store for Kinect apps, but also for other gestural interfaces (such as EyeSight Technologies and similar). On Motionfair website, developers are free to publish their trial, free or paid applications.

Businesses are using SDK (Kinect for Windows software development kit) to develop useful applications which will enable their employees to interact with devices by speaking and gesturing. These new developing ways to communicate with our computers will help us in our daily activities, but they will be more than useful to persons with disabilities.

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