Back in February we took a look at a rather fantastic touchless interface from Elliptic Labs. Not many sites covered the technology, and if you’re following one of those lesser sites then they’ll probably only be covering them for the first time today. Tskk. Anyways, eight months ago in Barcelona they had a pretty small stand compared to the likes of Samsung, HTC and Sony, but you know what they say about small packages.
Here’s how things used to look just a few short months ago..
The system involved a box with a Samsung slapped inside, but since then things have slimmed down somewhat and the magical outer shell is really no bigger than one of those cases with an additional battery in.
There’s a video below that shows how the device works. It’s all thanks to ultra-sound, which can detect where your hand is even if it’s outside the traditional “field of vision”. A new “multi-layer interaction” system allows different functions depending on how close your hand is and what your hand is doing. You can forward and rewind a video or flick through images in a gallery purely by sliding your hand in the air. You don’t need to know where the sensor is – just interact with the phone (or any device using this system) on the side of the phone, in front, above or below.
Camera and IR tech isn’t as good as this. Approach the “interaction zone” and you’ll see an instant visual feedback, plus you can even “double tap in the air” to turn the device on or off. Imagine this while you’re driving. No need to touch anything, just wave your hand near your phone and it’ll activate the sat-nav to get you home. Double tap and it could perhaps read your text messages.
There’s an SDK to make apps that you can interact with and.. well, we loved this whole system back in February and I’m going to personally keep banging on about it until a manufacturer picks up their technology and implements it in their next phone. Are you listening Samsung / Sony / Microsoft / HTC / LG / Moto etc ? :)