Gesture recognition: Coming soon to your entire home (Video)
Those who have admired Iron Man's Tony Stark and his gesture recognition technology throughout his workshop and hyper tech-infused dream house have something to look forward to in the real world. That very same technology may now be coming to a household near you (or even your own).
Gesture recognition technology allows the user to control everything from the lights in a room to the volume of a stereo, all with the swipe or "gesture" of the hand. The bygone days of the comical oratory light-switch "the Clapper" are now gone, as we rocket forth into the true power of the technology of the 21st century.
But how can gesture recognition jump from the world of sci-fi movies, books and television programs to your house?
Seattle, Wash.'s University of Washington announced on Tuesday, June 4 that researchers based at the school have come to find that gesture recognition throughout the house is possible without the need of extra sensors or even cameras placed about the building thanks to the fact that Wi-Fi signals can apparently be used to detect human movement independent of such aforementioned indecorous of bulky hardware.
All one needs, according to the UW release on the subject, is a Wi-Fi router that has been adapted for use with wireless devices around the household.
"This is repurposing wireless signals that already exist in new ways," UW Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Shyam Gollakota said. Gollakota is also the lead researcher on the project.
"You can actually use wireless for gesture recognition without needing to deploy more sensors," Gollakota said.
Along with the rest of his lab, Gollakota is working with colleague Shwetak Patek, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering and of electrical engineering, on the adapted Wi-Fi technology that is being called "WiSee." The group has submitted its findings to this year's MobiCom, which is the 19th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking.
Because Wi-Fi signals are not limited by walls or line-of-sight/sound restrictions, they can be used by home dwellers who want to control devices that might not even be in the same room as they. WiSee is therefore, according to the UW release, a kind of cheaper and simpler version of the same brand of technology that is employed for the Xbox Kinect, which instead of Wi-Fi signals, does use cumbersome cameras to allow for gesture recognition to take place.
A "smart" receiver was built by the researchers to "hear" all of the various transmissions coming from the innumerable wireless devices in the house, be they smartphones, tablets or laptops. When a person in the house moves his or her hand (or even, say, foot), the frequency of the signals change and thus the device can detect that something should be turned on/off or up/down, as the case might be.
"These frequency changes are very small - only several hertz - when compared with Wi-Fi signals that have a 20 megahertz bandwidth and operate at 5 gigahertz," the UW release continues, adding that, "Researchers developed an algorithm to detect these slight shifts. The technology also accounts for gaps in wireless signals when devices aren't transmitting."
The nine different gestures that WiSee can already identify (with, at this point, 94 percent accuracy) include: pushing, pulling, punching and even full-body bowling.
"This is the first whole-home gesture recognition system that works without either requiring instrumentation of the user with sensors or deploying cameras in every room," project collaborator and visiting UW student Qifan Pu said.
Like what you're reading? Follow @profklickberg.
Kinect on your laptop? 3D-depth cameras could hit laptops next year
Microsoft may be satisfied with its Kinect 3D sensor, but it's no longer the only player in the 3D camera game. Intel, in particular, is looking to integrate the technology into laptops as soon as next year.
Watch Samsung Demonstrate Galaxy S4 S Translator, Air View, Dual Camera And More In New Videos
In new videos, Samsung shows off cool new features of the Galaxy S4.
A Must Have: Best Wi-Fi Extenders
A wi-fi signal's range can only reach so far which is why wi-fi extenders are considered a must-have if you want to utilize it throughout the entire house.
Why is Nokia Adding an FM Radio Feature? Will the New TA-1221 Armstrong Make or Break Them?
Nokia comes out with a new model, the TA-1221 Armstrong. This phone comes with an old-school feature and the only question to be asked is, why?
Boost Your Gaming Signal with These Wi-Fi Adaptors: ASUS, TP, or Netgear
If you want to boost your connection without using a LAN or Ethernet, you might want to get yourself a Wi-Fi adaptor. Here are a few adaptors that could really improve your connection.
MORE IN ITECHPOST
How to Get More Life Out of Your PC -- Even If It's Already Old
Computers are expensive, so it makes sense to take good care of yours. Ideally, you'd take great care of your PC from the beginning -- cleaning it regularly with canned air, being careful with it, and protecting it from power surges, heat, and drops or falls.
2 NASA astronauts are home from ISS, proving SpaceX can safely bring people to and from space
After a two-month mission, SpaceX brings back home 2 astronauts, proving that it could transport people to and from space safely.
Something is Surely Brewing Within Destiny 2
How are you keeping on? There's a whole lot of content in the game and even though some of it is going away, the great variety won't go anywhere. On top of that, new stuff will be added and the huge add-on announced not that long ago kind of gives you hint about that. If you've played this game long enough, then you know you can't have everything, but what if there was a way? Of course, we're talking about Destiny 2 boosting. But it's not just good for herding some items. Our services can be used for any in-game goal, small or big.