This control experience is very similar to the Gyration air mouse that I use at my bicycle shop. It provides me the ability to access tecknical information on my screen in front of me. I have mitigated excess transportation [walking] issues. The mouse is pretty easy to use.
This would work well if a viewer was expected to just sit there like a good little vegetable. Only move to tell the screen what to do. Don't even think of moving around, jumping up, waving hands, or yelling at the screen. Can the context sensitivity tell when you are watching a game or show that is conducive to movement as just part of the viewing experience?
I think this tech is just a stepping stone to a better user interface. Personally I'd rather eliminate the remote entirely and have sensors in the TV that observe their immediate environment looking for cues to command changes.
Much like the Kinect uses a hand wave to indicate intent with the XBox, I can see using a thumb up/down for changing volume and left/right for changing channel. Similarly, a rolling of the hand to simulate wheel motion could be a cue to hurry along, or fast forward video, with the opposite gesture (wheel reversing) to indicate rewind. Combine this with verbal voice commands such as "channel 2" to change directly to a particular channel or "what's next on channel 5?" and we can relegate the remote to it's entropic destiny - somewhere in the cracks of the couch!
Wow, I remember my dad's remote from the 70's, "Hey kids, get up and change the channel!" The idea of the TV being a big wooden console that was part of the furniture is gone. So is the knob and the channel buttons from the front of the TV. Now our televisions are becoming fixtures on the wall (like a picture) and will most likely become part of the wall. The TV is not just for viewing shows, but becoming an extension of the computer and internet! Then Charles reveals that I no longer have to find the remote, just wave my hands. I could start to think I am a Jedi performing mind tricks!
"This is not the channel that you are looking for!"
Ah yes, with new technology also comes new complications. Personally I still have trouble with remote controls that are available for typical TV systems, so I am sure this one would completely boggle my mind.
Charles, I think some of the smart TVs from Samsung and LG have already the gesture control system. So with our hand we can change the channel, power on –Off etc by waving the hands from some 10 meters away.
I agree, Liz. This was an inevitable technology development. That said, I could see myself sitting on the couch, struggling to get the hang of this technology, and begging for a return to my old remote.
Definitely there is a need for intuitive controls for the television to take its place as the multimedia center of the one, as so many are predicting. Will be interesting to see if this approach works.
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