Samsung makes some of the best TVs on the planet. While Smart TVs have been on the rise for years, Samsung really upped the stakes with gestures and voice control in last year's models. For its next act in the Smart TV play, Samsung is fine-tuning its motion controls with a feature it calls "finger gesture."
Current Samsung Smart TVs with built-in gesture controls only support hand recognition. And while Samsung promised Kinect-like controls on its Smart TVs, the reality was the feature just didn't work very well.
According to Samsung, 2014 Smart TVs with built-in gestures will work better thanks to the addition of finger gestures. The feature claims to allow TV watchers the ability to "change the channel, adjust volume, find and select what they want they want to watch just by using their fingers." Users will also be able to "motion their finger counterclockwise" to go back to a previous screen and stop the video.
It's not groundbreaking, but it should be akin to leaping from the original Kinect's (Xbox 360) low-resolution 3D depth-tracking to the new Kinect's (Xbox One) high-definition tracking, which allows for individual finger detection.
In addition to new finger-gestures, Samsung also says it has improved voice commands. For example, instead of having to say two separate commands such as "channel change" and then "channel number," users can now just say the "channel number." That's better.
We'll be taking a closer look at the finger and improved voice controls at next month's Consumer Electronics Show, but we're going to just say this: the key to successfully integrating voice and gesture controls into a product as commonly used as the TV is precision. If the "new" control methods don't work correctly with at least a 99 percent success in any environment (quiet or loud/dark or brightly lit room), then people are going to get frustrated and return the ol' clicker.
Via Samsung Tomorrow