As we wait for the Windows 7 code to get locked down, take a tour of what Microsoft's highly-anticipated operating system will offer for touch-screen users. Don't have one yet? Don't worry, they're coming--even to affordable Netbooks.
I must admit, I love the gesture area and functions of the Palm Pre. Being able to go back to the previous page of an application instead of shutting down and reopening it is genius.
The placement of the gesture area is also wonderful. If the keyboard is open you can just reach up with your thumb and slide back to the previous task. Otherwise, you can use any finger you want. I also like that the gesture area is not actually on the screen because the gesture area gets a lot of the use and the fingerprints … Read more
Playing games with a joystick is officially yesterday's news, thanks to the Nintendo Wii, and the new Sony Ericsson Yari is so onboard that train.
The Yari is a gaming phone that supports motion gaming with an accelerometer that can sense when you're chucking that bowling ball, but it's also the first phone outside Japan to sport gesture gaming. That means the phone's forward-facing camera can detect your movement compared to the background, allowing you to control games with the wave of a hand.
Hit play to see a video of us waving our hands around … Read more
I was fortunate enough to be in the audience when Steve Jobs wowed the world with his demonstration of the iPhone a couple of years ago. As he was showing off multitouch technology, I remember turning to my friend and saying something along the lines of, "Gesture control like this is going to change everything." I remember it being a touchstone moment.
Monday's announcement of gesture control for the Xbox 360 marks another advance for the technology, but there are some ideas that could come to market quickly as well.
The TV remote control of the future isn't an expensive device with an LCD screen and blinking lights. It's your hand.
The classic TV remote control most of us have grown up with has been around in essentially the same incarnation for half a century. It's been tweaked over the years, but now one company is looking at ditching the remote altogether and usingbelow a TV screen that senses hand motions instead of button pushes. The result is something that seems right out of Minority Report.
But the high-tech user interface Tom Cruise coolly manipulates onscreen isn't even all that far-fetched now, thanks to incremental improvements. Until now, the most innovative new input for entertainment in the living room has been the Wii-mote, the motion-sensing remote control/wand that has made Nintendo's game console a cultural phenomenon. Swing it like a tennis racket and you can pretend you're playing tennis, point it at the screen and use it like a mouse to navigate menus.
Televisions have progressed as well, with better picture quality and capability. Now TVs can record TV shows, stream Netflix movies, check the weather, read news headlines, and skim RSS feeds. The menus on those TVs appear more and more like what we see on our computer screens, so a new interface that operates more like a mouse seems almost inevitable.
BumpTop replaces your desktop with a visual environment unlike any you've used. It's a bit like a futuristic gesture-based interface, but it's tied to your mouse. Were it capable of simultaneous Web browsing, its utility would be much more apparent.
BumpTop makes the items on your computer's desktop more like their real-world counterparts. Icons and folders are assigned a virtual weight based on the amount of memory they take up and their importance to you. You can move them by click-and-drag, or fling them across the BumpTop space. The program determines their importance based on how … Read more
While much of the attention on multitouch surrounds what devices the interface will next find its way onto, Microsoft is also looking at how to improve the gestures themselves.
At a computer interface conference in Boston, Microsoft is presenting ideas for how to perform 27 different commands--ideas that stemmed by showing test subjects a set of commands and asking them to do the most logical gesture. Those that were popular among multiple people were the ones the researchers said made the most sense.
"If they are going to be universal gestures we want them to be very natural," … Read more
This collection of free utilities for Windows will energize your corners, introduce tagging for files, and allow you to move and resize program windows in a Windows 7 style via your Alt key.
TaggedFrog tags your files, but keeps the tags to itself--there's little cross-over with Windows Explorer. You can drag and drop from Explorer, though, and that makes adding tags significantly easier. It does nothing automatically, which means there's little chance of a file getting mistagged and lost in the tag cloud. You can batch tag files from the Scan and Tag option under File, and batch … Read more
Speed has been the heat behind the desktop browser battle, and not much else. On Wednesday, Opera Software decided to throw an innovative curve ball by introducing a feature into the version 10 alpha of the Opera browser that lets you surf the Web by flaring your nostrils. They call it Opera Face Gestures.
If you've got a Webcam and a working F8 key, you'll be able to open new browser tabs, navigate around, and even compose an e-mail using one of 45 different facial gestures, like puffing out your cheeks to zoom out, or craning your neck … Read more
Multitouch gestures on the iPhone are simple and really easy to use. Mobile touch-screen devices that don't have it, however, can make Web browsing a harrowing experience. Enter Linja Zax, a new project that's trying to give users an easy way to zoom in and out of Web pages (and potentially other UI elements) with one finger only.
Similar to the "wax on, wax off" mantra of Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid, this simply involves moving your finger in a circular motion. Going clockwise zooms in, while counterclockwise zooms you back out. In the demo, … Read more