The end of the TV Remote near?
by, 05-07-2012 at 05:32 AM (845 Views)
Just imagine. No more looking through couch pillows, end tables and under chairs for your television remote control. All you need to do to turn on your TV is to use a voice command or hand gesture in a certain way. Changing channels, volume and all other manners of TV operation will be handled with a single gesture or specific word.
This would sure beat the current method of playing pass the remote when your wife walks into the room and wants to change the “300” movie you are watching to “Chopped” on the cooking channel.
With just a simple wave of her arm, you go from excitement, adventure, blood and guts to grown men hugging each other and cooking strudel.
The idea is really an outfall of the interactive video games everyone is now using. With the Wi, Xbox 360 and others using a natural user interface, they have revolutionized how video games are used. Now television manufactures are hopping on the bandwagon and making their own versions, improving on the idea.
For instance, LG is developing a unit currently called the LG Gesture Cam which they will be selling with certain of their big screen TV’s. It has a sensing device connected to the TV that can read body gestures. You will be able to play games using only hand signals and will also be able to control your TV functions, such as volume, changing channels, etc. simply with a wave of your hands. You will even be able to “grab” and “drop” an on-screen option just like you do on your computer. The voice version of this unit will still require a remote to hear and broadcast your commands to the TV, but you won’t have to hold it to make it work.
Samsung also has a version they are working on, but it is in the design stages. Their TV’s would include a built-in camera and microphone to pick up the gestures and voice commands. It’s called Smart and is an interaction technology which is their version of Microsoft’s Kinect. It will allow basic control of the TV, menu’s to browse through and select from, voice search commands and face recognition which will allow the participants to have their own separate accounts.
We are probably six months to a year from having a workable system available at local retail outlets, but just the fact that we can look forward to replacing the remote whose only purpose in life is to play “hide and seek” makes the wait worth while.