As designers at LUNAR Europe, part of our job is to question and re-think existing product concepts. This daily routine becomes imperative when the product uses break-through technology.
Our most recent project involved creating a new product and interaction concept based on 3D gestural control. This ‘GestIC’ 3D spatial movement tracking doesn’t need the help of extra gloves or camera to work smoothly. Currently not a single product exists that uses this technology to demonstrate the magic of this intuitive 3D gesture control.
Herein lay the challenge: study the technology opportunities and find the right usage scenarios to turn this promising technology into really strong applications and products. LUNAR Europe teamed up with two German companies, IDENT Technology AG and zinosign, to create the Gesture Cube, the first in a series of explorations and developments focusing on specific technology opportunities, user and market needs and expectations, and turning that technology into tangible solutions. With Gesture Cube, we specifically took a look at the home usage scenario. A secondary goal was to inspire and encourage consumer electronics companies to start using this innovative technology.
For the product expression we chose the shape of the cube. 3D gestural movements are bigger than 2D multitouch movements, so using several screens for a gesture is more comfortable. In addition, its five screens can represent several levels within one application and makes multitasking between applications more convenient and fun.
Another reason for the form lies in our user centric approach. The applications most frequently used at home are very social: contacting friends and family, sharing pictures etc. Yet we often place these home products in corners or on walls. What would it take to move the interaction back into the the center of our living space? Why not allow users to sit opposite each other to share and watch their videos and pictures? The answer again was a cube. With no particular “front”, it can be viewed and used from various angles at the same time. Gesture Cube was destined to stand in the living space, so the iconic cubic shape, the archetype of three-dimensionality, again seemed perfect to also act as a sculpture while not in use.
To learn more about the project and the outcome please visit the Gesture Cube micro site: www.gesture-cube.com.