The Next Big Thing
How 3D gesture tech could change computingThe 3D gesture tech market is expected to grow from $2 billion to $15 billion in five years. But what are hurdles technology makers need to overcome to make it happen?
-You know, some folks have always complained that consumer technology is somehow dehumanizing and let's face it. It is largely virtual and representational using pixels, synthesized voices, avatars, all to create this sort of this XY universe. Maybe that's why 3D gesture technology sparks everyone's imagination. It sort of reinjects the primal human into the space. -We track all 10 fingers. It's very precise and very and very low leniency. -And what that gets you is touch-free controlling of the computer. -Makers of Leap Motion envision people may be using this for robotic surgery. -Twisting the phone in your wrist twice quickly causes the camera app to launch from any application or when the device is asleep. -And then I can grab different pieces. You can do all of this with a keyboard and mouse but you know you won't be able to do it nearly as fluidly and as easily as you can with this controller. -Some numbers that move us beyond niche. In 2017, ABI predicts 30 percent of smartphones, about 600 million of them, will ship with gesture tech that year. Some 40 percent of new cars will have some kind of gesture tech by 2023 according to IHS. And the 3D gesture tech market expected to grow from 2 billion dollars to 15 billion in the next 5 years. 3D gesture technology will probably do best in its initial years when it's simple and appropriate, almost a-ha simple. I also think it's gonna be a good example of a technology that augments many others and replaces very few. Some of the hurdles I'm looking for to see 3D gesture cross as it moves to ubiquity include higher precision. A lot of the things on 3D gesture technology right now are coarse and laggy compared to even a 7-dollar mouse. That's not gonna work for long. As you get greater precision, you actually get greater ease more than greater power. -This is about 1 milliseconds of latency. -This demo from Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group is using 2D gesture, a touchscreen, but it still makes it very clear what happens when the technology improves past a certain point on the continuum. All of a sudden it's utterly different, not just better. Then there's user discrimination. Really good 3D tech tomorrow has to be able to tell me from someone around me, focus on my gestures, filter out theirs. Then there's personalization. A recent University of St. Andrews study found that users were able to master 44 percent more gestures when they devised them themselves as opposed to just learning once the manufacturer setup on the technology. Prove it to yourself. Next time you go to dinner with friends, notice how differently everyone gestures even if they're talking about the same topic. A killer app and I mean an application, not software app. The first big one was honestly the Clapper. Next, probably Nintendo Wii. Now, it's time for the third that really leverages our smart mobiles. And finally, there is simple because to me complex gesture technology is kind of the mother of all oxymorons. Now, notice I left out fitness and body monitoring technology. Some put that in the gesture category, but I see there's a different variant that's more passive data probing as opposed to 3D gesture is simple control technology. For its intuitive simplicity and the way that it injects human behavior into digital living, 3D gesture is a technology like no other.