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Control your TV with hand gestures

While researching gestures, I came across the following.
Even though certain gestures for specific actions don’t make a lot of sense to me at all, it’s nice to see we get a step closer to a more natural ubiquitous computing environment.
They state that a user can learn the gestures in 5 minutes. I think it would be more user friendly if the user can register his own gestures.

Now, seven simple hand gestures to switch your TV on
MIL/ANI, Jul 14, 2007.

London: July 14, 2007 - Australian scientists have reportedly come up with a box that lets television viewers change channels, switch on the DVD player or switch off an irritating presenter with the wave of a hand.

The controller’s built-in camera can recognise seven simple hand gestures and work with up to eight different gadgets around the home, reports The Daily Mail.

The all-seeing wave controller is the brainchild of Australian engineers Dr Prashan Premaratne and Quang Nguyen, who predict its availability on the market within three years.

Dr Premaratne, of the University of Wollongong, said the device is designed to sit on a shelf or table which has a clear line of sight to the television and the owner.

Its software recognises simple, deliberate hand gestures and then sends the appropriate signal to a universal remote control, designed to work with most makes of television, video recorder, DVD player, hi-fi and digital set-top box.

In tests, published in the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Computer Vision Research Journal, a prototype worked in all kinds of lighting, and at a range of distances.

It was able to switch equipment on and off, alter the volume, change channels, play and stop. Dr Premaratne says anyone can learn the gestures within five minutes.

A clenched fist means “start”, an outstretched hand with closed fingers means “power on”, a thumbs-up sign means “up” and a sideways victory sign means “channel”.

Crucially for anyone with small children, pets or gesticulating family members, the software can distinguish between real commands and unintentional gestures.

The team has started work on making the gadget small enough to be built in to televisions or other devices. They also want to adapt it for use with computer games consoles. (ANI)

The International reporter