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Input Devices Media (Apple) Apple

Elliptic Labs To Bring Touchless Gestures To iPad 55

An anonymous reader writes "Elliptic Labs will reveal their Touchless Gesture User Interface technology at CES 2011. Elliptic Labs sprung forth from the signal processing environment at the University of Oslo and what they've come up with is an [iPad] dock which creates a 'touchless zone' that extends out about 1 foot in front and to the sides of the iPad screen. Users can then initiate a number of gestures, much like on Microsoft Kinect, to manipulate onscreen content."
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Elliptic Labs To Bring Touchless Gestures To iPad

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  • Is the person who chose the name "Elliptic" vis-à-vis "Epileptic" fit for the job?
  • by ThreeGigs ( 239452 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @03:24AM (#34696020)

    I see usage scenarios for computers in the kitchen all the time, and each time I cringe at the thought of what the interfaces on those things will look like after typing/touching them with hands full of whatever foodstuffs the cook was working with. Market something like this for an iPad in the kitchen and I'd consider it useful.

    • +1 ... I was just going to say "can't you manage to reach that last foot to the screen" but I guess you found a reason - filthy hands.

    • That was my first thought. If it works well enough, I can imagine a number of scenarios where you'd want hands-free interaction with a device. Wouldn't have to be an ipad, though. Could be anything. Since it's infrared, it may work even if the device is in a protected space behind a thick plate of glass.
      • Since it's infrared,...

        No, it's ultrasonic; this is indicated at six seconds into the video, and at their website (http://www.ellipticlabs.com/technology/). And no, infrared does not penetrate glass very well.

    • I for one don't want the ol' lady cooking with wine (sometimes she even puts it in the food!) and waving a 10" knife around while gesticulating, trying to get this frickin' Touchless Gesture User Interface Technology to find the right friggin' recipe!
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, sounds like a recipe for disaster!

    • If only there was some type of wipe-clean passive material that could be supplied in a card-index style format with individual recipes printed on it, or perhaps some form of perspex or glass shielding that could be placed over a recipe book then we wouldn't need to spend so much to bring our remote touch technology and expensive touchscreen devices into such a hostile environment.
      • The obvious solution for those determined to employ a computer is a fridge-mount PC with a washable-face glass touchscreen. This sort of thing is still stupidly expensive as a refrigerator option but the age of cheap tablets is upon us and retrofitting one seems like it ought to be cost-effective soon.

        Another obvious solution would be to make portable electronics rugged by default. If manufacturers got into the habit of at least making them waterproof and wipe-clean then the technology to do so would become

    • No, observing the behavior of people, I'd say we definitely need a gesture interface in the car first!

    • How about during surgery? Germ free information.
  • The demo video makes it look unresponsive and crappy. I fear its performance under less ideal circumstances.

  • by PatPending ( 953482 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @03:41AM (#34696082)

    After watching the video, I conclude this is grossly inefficient. For example, instead of touching the display and moving a finger say an inch or two, one has to move their entire arm about 18-to-24 inches.

    Also consider the unintended consequences from making these gross gestures in proximity to persons or objects: accidentally hitting someone and knocking things over (e.g., your Iced Caffè Mocha). One simply would not want to use this in a crowded, cluttered place.

    Plus one would look ridiculous the faster one tried to gesture!

    • I'd imagine this sort of thing would have ideal application in an environment like the one Tony Stark works within (in the movies); wave your hands, make threatening-looking finger swipes, and shit happens.

      All we need to complete the sequence is screens floating in mid-air, and giant armor suits that can do amazingly destructive things.

      And the comments above were worried about the kitchen...no need for touching/swiping, a simple 'sudo make me a sandwich' will always do the trick.
    • That is completely unnecessary technology for the iPad. Coming from someone who doesn't even like touch screens you could consider me biased. Call me old fashioned but I still like pressing physical buttons.
  • Just what I always wanted to do: control a computer with a theremin [wikipedia.org]. There's an app for that [thereminworld.com]. Twelve or more, actually...

  • I for one would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new touchless overlords...

  • > "Users can then initiate a number of gestures, much like on Microsoft Kinect, to manipulate onscreen content."

    What if I want to manipulate offscreen content instead?
    Actually never mind, I couldn't do that with a touchscreen either.

  • You: *hand wave* You do not wish to see my papers.
    iPad: I, uh... I don't wish to see your papers.
    You: These aren't the Droids you're looking for.
    iPad: These aren't the Droids I'm looking for.
    You: Move along.
    iPad: Move along.

  • if emacs or vi will support gesture recognition first.

  • I was at a friends house last weekend and he demonstrated his new Vaio laptop, which responded exactly like the apparatus in this video. Only it used the webcam, I guess. Like in the video, it doesn't work flawlessly, you easily gesture to fast for it.
  • know the difference between my gesture and my cat's insane interest in all things digital? i have to put him on the floor dozens of times already while working on a non-gesture desktop or notebook

  • by cstacy ( 534252 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @07:10AM (#34696904)

    I predict that only a minority of iPod users will enjoy the UI featured in this report.

  • Having just woken up with my vision still a bit fuzzy, I read the title as "Epileptic Labs To Bring Touchless Gestures..." and it actually made sense in a strange sort of way...
  • I'm sure Apple has a patent on this..probably something like "Using fingers to interact with a computing device"

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard