If you ever feel like robots are getting the upper hand on humanity, consider using your own hands to put them in their place.
Researcher Akihiro Nakamura from the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) in Japan has developed a motion controller for iRobot's Roomba vacuum bots that recognizes his gestures and posture.
The system is yet another Microsoft Kinect hack using the OpenNI API. The gestural interface eliminates the need to bend over and push Roomba's buttons. It also allows you to lord it over the overgrown hockey puck.
First, to calibrate the Kinect you have to assume a hands-up stance (either humiliating or all-powerful, depending on your perspective). Then the system starts recognizing gestures, as seen in the demo above. To make Roomba clean a spot on the floor that it missed, assume a scolding stance: left hand on your hip, and right hand pointing at the offending dirt. Roomba scoots over to the spot and does a thorough hoovering. … Read more
Apple has released to developers a beta of iOS 4.3, the newest operating system update for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. iOS 4.3 will include several feature upgrades including the addition of personal Wi-Fi hot spots, new multitouch gestures for iPad, and customizable messaging alerts.
Also included in the first beta of iOS 4.3 is the return of orientation locking by using the hardware switch on the side of your iPad. Users will be able to toggle the usage of that switch from its current function, muting, to the new orientation lock.
The App Store app has … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Not mentioned at today's CES keynote address from Microsoft was something new--a multitouch mouse that's been designed to bring special gesture features to Windows 7 users.
Readers with a good memory might take one look at what Microsoft is calling Touch Mouse, and recognize it as the "Cap Mouse" from October of 2009, which the company unveiled as one of five mousing prototypes. Since then the mouse has cut the cord, tapered out in front, been given a completely different finish (black and red instead of gray and dark gray), and a $79.95 price … Read more
Mouse gestures let users execute a variety of commands by pressing a mouse button, typically the right one, and moving the mouse in a certain way. Mouse gestures started as a way to simplify browser commands, but you can program a gesture for nearly any task you can trigger with keystrokes or mouse clicks. All-in-One Gestures by Marc Boullet is a free Firefox add-on that bundles the mouse gestures, rocker navigation, tab scroller, history scroller, link tool tip, and autoscrolling utilities developed by Boullet and other programmers in the open-source project. It does some nifty things.
We installed the add-on, … Read more
Two years before the first iPhone, Apple applied for a patent that has become one of the staple gestures of the iOS platform. I recall when we first received the original iPhone at the Apple Store (where I was the Lead Specialist). We unboxed and powered-on a demo unit and the first thing we did was swipe through the preloaded iTunes playlist, amazed by Apple's new mobile operating system.
It is that gesture, the basic swipe-to-scroll motion that is one of the true signatures of Apple's iOS platform, that has been approved by the United States Patent and … Read more
Toshiba dabbled with gesture controls back in 2008 with the Qosmio G50, but that didn't really catch on with users. Hence, gesture control disappeared from subsequent models. This feature has apparently reappeared, but this time in the form of Fujitsu Lifebook AH series laptops with a "Natal Like" interface.
By using the Webcam, the notebook is able to recognize hand movements to control volume levels as well as video playback. You can view a demo of the laptop above. The AH series comes in either Intel Core i3/i5 or AMD Athlon II processor flavors. More details … Read more
I was never a fan of the original Dolphin browser for Android, but when DolphinHD was released for Android 2.0 and above I figured I'd check it out for the feature set alone. Little did I know that within a day I'd make it the default browser on my Motorola Droid.
Much like the Skyfire browser, which boasts unique in-house Flash video playback, DolphinHD's feature set gives users significant feature enhancements over the default browser. There's tabbed browsing, link sharing via your installed social networking apps, add-ons, themes, smoother in-browser multitouch, a generally high level of customization, the ability to save your cache and history to the SD card, and one of the most logical features for a touch-screen phone browser, customizable gesture support.
There used to be one other awesome feature: YouTube video downloading. But lest you think that only Apple played hardball with its application developers, Google forced Dolphin's publishers to remove the feature for a Google and YouTube Terms of Service violation within a week of the browser's release.
For me, the gesture support is Dolphin's killer feature. It comes with several default actions, including jumping to your bookmarks, moving forward and backward in site navigation, jumping to the top or bottom of the page you're on, reloading the page you're looking at, and sharing the page you're on. You can also set gestures to load specific sites, open new tabs, or add a bookmark. In all, Dolphin comes with 20 gesture options. A few have been wedded by default to predetermined gestures, but you can overwrite them easily with motions more to your liking, or move the gesture hot corner around. … Read more
Somewhere in your closet there's a pair of gloves straight out of "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo." Well, if you dust them off and fire up your Webcam, you'll have the beginnings of a nifty gestural interface system, thanks to research at MIT.
Robert Wang of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory designed a gestural system that tracks a pair of rainbow-colored Lycra gloves to be used with a standard Webcam. The gloves, which cost only a dollar to manufacture, can be used to manipulate virtual objects such as blocks or even complex machinery models (… Read more
It's Rafe and Molly on the show today, and it kind of turned into a blur of Apple-related frustrations. But hey, our opinions might not matter in the least: iPad 3G arrives today in all its closed-off glory, while possible competitor tablets from Microsoft and HP are dropping like flies. Plus, Apple now owns a powerful new collection of multitouch gestures. But dammit, they killed Lala.com, and we just cannot truck with that kind of behavior (iTunes.com? Hello?).Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1218
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