As designers we often feel honored working at the forefront of design–using customer insights and new technologies to define products that pioneer new, exciting experiences. Gestural interaction technology is one of these game-changers. We see its ascent and are proud to be one of the lucky teams that will help shape the future of gesture controlled devices.
Ever since tech-company IDENT Technology AG first showed us their young GestIC technology and asked us to explore with them new, suitable product concepts we have been thrilled to venture with them into the exciting field of gestural interfaces. Their demonstration of GestIC’s capabilities to track finger and hand movements, direction and velocity was stunning, as it uses only tiny sensors – no cameras, no gloves.
We decided to team up with IDENT and zinosign to explore how GestIC could help solve usability problems connected to the rising complexity of our devices. Complexity in technology is best reflected in TV remote controls, which seem to follow a one-button-per-function paradigm. Increasing buttons on remote controls and rising numbers of remote controls – one per device- is the sad reality in most households.
We tackled this issue and created “Gesture Remote”.
Gesture Remote allows you to control your TV with simple gestures, without pressing a single button. Using simple thumb gestures, users can drag & drop or point & select content – thanks to a virtual mouse functionality. Scroll, flick, rotate, or zoom in & out for volume control and channel selection using its virtual sliders.
Gesture Remote also accounts for the convergence of traditional television and web-based multimedia. Our relationship with our home products is becoming increasingly sophisticated and results in a higher level of interactivity. We feel that a whole new breed of remote control is overdue.
Gesture Remote provides a simple and intelligent interface and transforms watching TV into a magical, intuitive experience.
And telling from the feedback we received up to now after the project’s viral spread through the internet, we feel like we have touched a point with Gesture Remote. The majority of reviews and comments we’ve encountered are quick responses through social media in a “like” button style. More extensive reviews on tech blogs or on design blogs like FastCo do state, “As TV content blends into the Web, we’ll probably need a remote as intuitive — and button free — as this one.” These comments and their vivid discussion in the blogs show that gestural interfaces in certain usage scenarios are definitely the next step after 2D multi-touch. We thank everyone who has expressed their view on the Gesture Remote so far, and look forward to a continuation of the discussion.