Wave your hand to control smart devices -- even if it's out of sight

From the Xbox Kinect to the the new Samsung Galaxy S5, devices are becoming more hands-off than ever before thanks to gesture-based controls. Now, a new technology could give you Magneto-like control over your smart devices.

So far, it's been necessary to have a line of sight with the devices you want to control by waving your hands in the air. Even new technology from Elliptic Labs that debuted at CES 2014, which uses ultrasound to translate gestures into actions, requires close user proximity to the device.

The new prototype gesture-recognition system -- known as "AllSee" -- built by scientists at the University of Washington however, allows gestures to be recognized by electronic devices even if they're out of sight, such as a phone in a pocket.… Read more

Lumus smartglasses to get EyeSight gesture recognition

BARCELONA, Spain -- One of the difficulties with wearable computing is that it can be hard to control devices that don't have a handy keyboard or touch screen attached. And that's how gesture control company EyeSight Mobile won a place in Lumus' smartglasses.

With the technology a person can hold out a finger to tap on icons or swipe away notifications in the virtual view Lumus glasses present. Later, EyeSight plans to add the ability to drag items around the display, too.

"You can actually touch the icons in the air with your fingers," EyeSight Chief Executive Gideon Shmuel told CNET. … Read more

Fujitsu tap-and-wave glove works where touchscreens don't

Touch screens were just the start.

User interface experimentation is blossoming as new sensors liberate computing devices from keyboards and mice, and a new glove from Fujitsu Laboratories embodies the trend. The device has a near-field communications (NFC) reader and gyroscopic sensors for gesture-based interactions with a person's environment.

Fujitsu will show the wearable device at the Mobile World Congress show next week in Barcelona, with plans to sell it in 2015.

The idea is to let a person -- likely in some specific work situation -- tap an object with the NFC reader, then perform a gesture that … Read more

Gesture recognition will be a slam-dunk, startup head says (Q&A)

If Gideon Shmuel gets his way, you'll soon be waving your arms and pointing your fingers at your TV, phone, tablet, and PC.

As chief executive of EyeSight Mobile Technologies, Shmuel is promoting the idea of gesture recognition, in which sensors detect your body's motions and do things like open an app or change channels. The best example of gesture recognition is Microsoft's Kinect game controller, but EyeSight wants to bring gesture recognition to all the electronic devices in a person's life.

Eyesight, an Israeli company, is in the midst of dramatic change to electronics interfaces. … Read more

What's behind next-gen mobile gestures? Ultrasound (Hands-on)

LAS VEGAS -- Waving your hand over a phone or tablet instead of touching the screen is cool in theory, but often jerky or temperamental in practice. Elliptic Labs is rewriting the rules of touch-free gestures using the sense of sound.

When you turn on gesture control, ultrasonic speakers begin emitting sound waves above 20kHz, outside the range of human hearing. These waves hit your hand, then bounce back to the listening microphones. From there, software turns signals into action.

Touchless inputs generally use camera optics or infrared to get their gestural commands, which means you need to be fairly … Read more

iRing controls iPhone, iPad music apps via hand gestures

iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners who use music apps can control them now through a ring on their finger.

Launching this quarter at a price of $25, the iRing responds to the gestures of your hand to perform specific tasks on an iOS device. Nestled on your finger, the double-sided ring talks to your device's camera, which reads your various gestures. You simply move your hand up and down, left and right, or twist it around to control the action.

Created by IK Multimedia, the iRing supports the company's music apps, including GrooveMaker and VocaLive. As such, … Read more

Samsung aims to make 2014 smart TVs even smarter

Those of you who buy a Samsung smart TV in 2014 should find it easier to flip channels, open apps, and run other tasks.

Samsung has fine-tuned its voice interaction service, which helps you control the TV through natural language voice commands. As one example, the current crop of Samsung smart TVs force you to utter two commands to change the channel: "Channel Change" and "Channel Number." Next year's sets will require you to speak just the channel number.

You'll also be able to use voice shortcuts to open a Web site or app, … Read more

HP embeds Leap Motion gesture control tech in 11 computers

Leap Motion announced Thursday that Hewlett-Packard is embedding its gesture control technology in 11 new computers.

In a blog post, Leap Motion -- which developed a system designed to enable users to control their computers with hand gestures alone, with accuracy down to a hundredth of a millimeter -- said that HP is integrating its technology into 11 desktop and all-in-one machines.

In September, HP said it was incorporating Leap Motion's tech into the Envy 17 laptop, making it the first manufacturer to build the system directly into a computer. This time around, however, HP is embedding the system … Read more

Wave fingers, make faces: The future of computing at Intel

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- If the next big wave in devices turns out to be gestures and eye tracking, Intel wants to be ready.

Intel is the king of PCs, but it hasn't always been ahead of evolving innovations. Its processors power more than 80 percent of the world's computers and the vast majority of its servers, but Intel has made little headway in smartphones and tablets. To spur interest in PCs again, as well as persuade more mobile device makers to use its chips, Intel has devoted significant resources and efforts to something it calls "perceptual … Read more

Apple confirms deal for 3D sensing company PrimeSense

A week after reports began circulating that Apple had purchased PrimeSense, Apple has confirmed the acquisition of the 3D sensing company behind Microsoft's Kinect sensor.

Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet on Sunday confirmed for CNET the deal's closure, which had been reported by AllThingsD. Financial newspaper Calcalist reported earlier this month that Apple had paid $345 million for the Israel-based company, but other sources said the deal had not been finalized and that the deal's value would likely be a little higher. Huguet declined to disclose the deal's value.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time … Read more