Google Open-Sources Real-Time Gesture Recognition Tech

Google relied on computer vision and machine learning to research a better way to perceive hand shapes and motions in real-time, for use in gesture control systems, sign language recognition and augmented reality. The result is the ability to infer up to 21 3D points of a hand (or hands) on a mobile phone from a single frame. Google, which demonstrated the technique at the 2019 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, also put the source code and a complete use case scenario on GitHub. Continue reading Google Open-Sources Real-Time Gesture Recognition Tech

LG Goes Big on Wi-Fi-Connected Appliances, Robots at CES

At CES 2017, LG stated that this year all of its home appliances will include “advanced Wi-Fi connectivity.” One flagship product is its Internet-connected Smart InstaView Refrigerator that supports Amazon’s Alexa; no price has been announced. Features of the webOS appliance include stickers and tags to be attached to items in the refrigerator, which will signal the consumer when a food item in question is about to expire, and the ability to remotely view the inside of the refrigerator via a camera mounted inside. Continue reading LG Goes Big on Wi-Fi-Connected Appliances, Robots at CES

Beyond the Headlines: This Year’s Outliers of Interest at CES

If you look hard enough, CES is often the place to discover smaller, less publicized technologies and products that could become the seeds for something practical and useful to the ETC member companies. This year I came across several that fit this description, including a technology called SynTouch that could prove beneficial to haptic feedback R&D and physical product quality control, a simple and elegant method from ManoMotion to use hand gestures as a user interface, an OLED necklace that could lead to the launch of a social e-collectible marketplace, and a tiny chip from Chirp Microsystems that could provide a compelling motion capture solution. Continue reading Beyond the Headlines: This Year’s Outliers of Interest at CES

Oculus Chief Scientist Predicts the Future of VR Platform Tech

Disavowing popular wisdom that it doesn’t pay to be too specific, Oculus chief scientist Michael Abrash delineated what virtual reality tech will look like in 2021 at the Oculus Connect 3 conference last week. With the caveat that he would be proved “wrong about some of the specifics,” Abrash described a high-end VR future that includes 4K x 4K resolution per eye and 140-degree field of view displays, foveated rendering, personalized audio encoding, and “augmented virtual reality.” Abrash was the final speaker in a keynote session that stretched past two hours. Continue reading Oculus Chief Scientist Predicts the Future of VR Platform Tech

Windows 10 Update to Include Windows Holographic Access

An update to the Windows 10 operating system will enable PC users to jump into mixed reality next year when their computers run the Windows Holographic shell Microsoft introduced in early 2015. “The update will allow users to multi-task in mixed reality environments, which combine traditional 2D Windows 10 apps with immersive, 3D graphical environments,” notes TechCrunch. “These will be enabled via a range of ‘6 degrees of freedom devices,’ input devices that add positional tracking to other more traditional forms of input, like clicking and pointing.” The team is also looking to make this available to PCs that do not currently have the necessary specs to run full-scale virtual reality. Continue reading Windows 10 Update to Include Windows Holographic Access

Samsung Relies on IBM TrueNorth Chip to Create Digital Eye

Samsung created the Dynamic Vision Sensor, a digital eye based on the IBM TrueNorth chip, which relies on neuromorphic computing optimized for low-power processing of large amounts of data. The chip is composed of 4,096 tiny computing cores — which create a million digital brain cells and 256 million connections — sending short messages to one another. The result is a chip that acts similarly to the brain’s neurons. The Dynamic Vision Sensor processes video imagery in which each pixel operates independently. Continue reading Samsung Relies on IBM TrueNorth Chip to Create Digital Eye

Sensors Industry Group Sets the Bar, Sees the Future for IoT

At CES 2016, the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group held its fifth conference to focus on the technologies that quite literally enable the Internet of Things. The group’s executive director Karen Lightman notes that MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) are both sensors and actuators, the latter being the key differentiating factor. “Not all MEMS are sensors and not all sensors are MEMS,” she said. “What’s exciting is that MEMS and sensors still offer new science and new ways of addressing challenging issues.” Continue reading Sensors Industry Group Sets the Bar, Sees the Future for IoT

Israeli Startup Debuts Index-Finger Device to Replace Mouse

Israeli startup MUV Interactive unveiled Bird, a device the user wears on an index finger, to replace the mouse. The small plastic shell, covered with sensors, is on sale to the public for $150 for the first 15,000 units; the regular price is $250. With Bird, the user can move his or her hand as if controlling a touchscreen — but without any touch — for any TV or projector up to 300 inches. The device weighs about 20 grams (7/10th of an ounce). With plug-ins, Bird can control other devices, including a drone. Continue reading Israeli Startup Debuts Index-Finger Device to Replace Mouse

New Universal Remote Controls All Your Smart Home Devices

While universal remotes are primarily used to control cable boxes and TVs, Cupertino-based startup NEEO is taking the idea a step further. The company claims its universal remote can control a home theater system and almost every smart device that a homeowner could imagine. The NEEO touchscreen remote works with over 30,000 Internet-connected gadgets such as the Nest, Philips Hue and others. It also uses hand recognition software to create profiles for each user. Continue reading New Universal Remote Controls All Your Smart Home Devices

4K TV Shipments Up 700 Percent, to Top 100 Million in 2018

Research from Futuresource Consulting points to a 3 percent increase for the worldwide television market in 2014 over the previous year. However, 2014 is also expected to experience a decline in average retail prices from $652 to $608. The report suggests that 4K TVs will reach 100+ million units in 2018, with 11.6 million units shipping this year (a 700 percent jump). China accounts for more than 70 percent of demand for 4K, while Western Europe and North America represent 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Continue reading 4K TV Shipments Up 700 Percent, to Top 100 Million in 2018

Fuffr Develops Multitouch Tech with Focus on Mobile Gaming

Sometimes a smartphone’s surface is just not big enough to make the most of mobile and social gaming. Even today’s largest smartphone screens have limitations that can hinder the multiplayer gaming experience. That is where Fuffr comes into play. The company has designed a mobile case that projects infrared lights to the surrounding areas of the phone, so that these areas too, can be used as multitouch surfaces for gameplay and a variety of other applications. Continue reading Fuffr Develops Multitouch Tech with Focus on Mobile Gaming

Operating a Car’s Air Conditioning With the Wave of a Finger

Belgian 3D vision company SoftKinetic believes the future will include using hand and finger gestures to operate some of your car’s controls, such as the navigation system, radio volume, and air conditioning. SoftKinetic’s system works by mounting a camera with radar-like technology that can recognize the slightest hand gestures, even in complete darkness. With the help of Delphi Automotive, SoftKinetic is hoping to get its product in a production vehicle later this year. Continue reading Operating a Car’s Air Conditioning With the Wave of a Finger

Intel Acquires Gesture Recognition Startup Omek Interactive

Chipmaker Intel has acquired the gesture recognition startup Omek Interactive for close to $50 million. The Israeli startup develops software and related technology for creating gesture recognition interfaces based on information provided by 3D cameras. Omek’s gesture recognition and body tracking software is being used in devices such as TVs, set-top boxes, game consoles, tablets, PCs, smartphones, interactive signs, and medical and fitness devices. Continue reading Intel Acquires Gesture Recognition Startup Omek Interactive