New 3D gesture system could change how we use our phones

The Kinect has already shown us the beginnings of a new world of console gaming interfaces controlled by gestures, but a new development promises to bring that dynamic to tiny mobile devices using the world's first electrical field-based 3D gesture controller.

Developed by Microchip Inc., the GestIC system is designed to allow users to control their mobile devices with simple hand gestures. Instead of using a camera to track your hand movements, the controller maps them using electrical fields. The dynamic appears to be relatively precise, allowing users to swipe to turn pages, engage winding functions with a circular motion, and put the device to sleep with a simple hand wave.

Although the controller has a six-inch range of motion limitation because it uses electrical fields rather than cameras, its power usage is more efficient and thus a potentially better solution for mobile applications. Microchip Inc. expects to have the controller operating in a wide variety of commercially available mobile devices in 2013.

You can see a demonstration of how the controller works in the video below.

GestIC, via TechnologyReview

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