Hot trend in Japan: Gesture recognition

Chalk it up to Wii fever--Japanese companies are showing off products that users operate by making gestures or moving their fingers.

CHIBA, Japan--The finger is the new mouse in Japan.

At the Ceatec show here this week, a whole raft of Japanese companies are showing off prototypes or upcoming products that users operate by making gestures or moving their fingers.

Controlling a Toshiba PC with gestures. Michael Kanellos/CNET

Toshiba showed off a PC that you operate with hand gestures. Hitachi Metals had a product in their booth called "Magic Waters." You wave a wand and point it at a fountain and the waters jump, sort of like the fountain at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

Sharp has a screen that will let phone manufacturers put on an iPhone-like interface. Citizen Watch showed off a glove that lets you control certain things. And Pioneer has a car navigation prototype that relies on finger gestures. Flick a 3D hologram-like image of a gas station pump and the car navigation system points out all of the gas stations in the vicinity.

Chalk it up to Wii fever, says writer Tom Samiljan. You'll probably start seeing stuff like this in America in a few years.

About the author

    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.


    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments
    Latest Galleries from CNET
    The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
    A roomy range from LG (pictures)
    This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
    Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)
    Google Lunar XPrize: Testing Astrobotic's rover on the rocks (pictures)
    CNET's 15 favorite How Tos of 2014