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 News.com

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 News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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