tech innovation

Gesture Controllers Challenge Microsoft's Kinect Technology

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 28, 2013 02:42 PM

You may soon need to be extra careful when you wave your hands around—and it’s not because you might hit somebody. You may be sending your computer and every other digital object you own a message of some sort or another thanks to the growing market for gesture controllers.

Nintendo’s Wii got the world swinging its body around to control images on their screens. Microsoft’s Kinect allowed users to control their Xboxes and PCs with hand gestures and now a new wave of controllers and interfaces are planned to hit the market this year.

In May, the Leap Motion 3D gesture controller, which allows users to control their PCs with hand gestures, will be found in Best Buys for $80. The company sees itself as different from Kinect because its controller can follow "all ten fingers up to 1/100th millimeter at up to 290 frames per second" and is "200 times more sensitive than existing motion-control technology," according to pcpro.com.

Thalmic Labs is releasing MYO, which goes around a person’s forearm and can sense their movements, allowing for control of actual devices rather than just computers. QZ.com has it that “this raises the stakes in the gestural interface game.” It’ll be on the market in late 2013 for $149.

Google Glass is steadily marching toward eventual release, though it is hard to know how many control features will be included in it. 

QZ.com also notes that Kickstarter has seen an influx of gesture-control-related devices pop up recently such as one that “turns a mobile device into a wireless gestural input” and another that “turns everything from a banana to a sheet of paper into a controller.” The Atlantic points out that a “3D wearable mouse” called the Mycestro, which “consists of a big ring that you put on your index finger (that) tracks your finger movements in space, allowing you to execute the basic functions of computing,” is busy raising funds on Kickstarter.

As for Kinect, Geekosystem.com reports that there are new rumors floating around about what consumers should expect from its next iteration, the so-called Durango. Users will be able to be further away from their PCs and still make it work. It will also have a higher resolution HD stream, among plenty of other things.

So get ready to see your friends and family do all sorts of funky dancing as the new controllers hit the market. But be sure to be careful with all that power, though. Just ask the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

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