Invisible Control Video Player for Windows 8

Ditch the intrusive interface and control your video playback with gesture commands on Windows 8 and Windows RT

With the integration of touch technology into Windows, you might have expected Microsoft to have basic gesture commands built into its native video players, especially when touting the surface tablet. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Not to worry, however, as Invisible Controls Video Player is here to save the day!

Supporting most major file formats, Invisible Control lets you configure commands to the action of your choice. This will allow you to easily control your device, including rewinding, fast forwarding, adjusting the volume, or jumping to the next video on the playlist. The average user probably wouldn't find the lack of gesture control important enough to shell out the extra cash for it. However, after a couple of hours of using Invisible Control Video Player, we started wondering why this wasn't included the first place.

The home page. (Credit: Tuong Nguyen/CNET)

Installation is accomplished through the Microsoft Windows Store, so it's no more difficult than entering your credit card number and password. The app itself offers a one-page tutorial to get you started. We suggest that you head over to the Settings page to check out the possible commands. For instance, the top and bottom of the screen act as an invisible playback bar and volume bar, respectively. Tapping the top allows you to scrub the currently playing video, while doing likewise on the bottom will adjust the volume. The center of the screen is where most of your gesturing takes place.

Quick and easy tutorial. (Credit: Tuong Nguyen/CNET)

Invisible Control allows interaction combining from one to five fingers and gestures such as tap; double tap; and left, right, upward or downward swipes. This can support as many as 30 unique commands at any one time. There isn't really a UI beyond the Settings page, but everything is pretty intuitive and we like intuitive software.

The most useful features we've noticed are the tap to pause, two-finger tap to mute, and the volume bar on the bottom. This could save your eardrums when plugging in headphones to videos with skull-shattering volume. The top scrubs bar is nice to have but hard to be precise when trying to advance to a certain spot as it is a trial-and-error process.

At $1.99, this can be a tough call. This is probably our biggest complaint with Invisible Control Video Player. It would be an easier buy if it were priced around half of the current cost as it's a dedicated video player rather than an integrated feature. Invisible Control will not work with videos not viewed through its player, such as YouTube or Netflix. However, it does bring a nice level of immersion for watching longer videos, such as movies, as you would never have to see any sort of UI or control interface, just the full picture.

Playing a video. (Credit: Tuong Nguyen/CNET)

About Tuong Nguyen

Raised in the Bay Area but educated on the sandy beaches of San Diego, Tuong writes for specializing in Windows Security and Mobile Apps.