One doesn’t usually associate the terms “awesome” and “Microsoft” in the same sentence, but in this case it’s deserved, as they’ve come up with a pretty ingenious control system.
We’re constantly surrounded by electromagnetic fields: appliances and power wires pump them out like nobody’s business. In addition to allowing frauds to claim that they cause health problems and peddle snake oil to the gullible, they also turn out to be really easy to track with a small sensor.
Here’s the neat part: the sensor can easily detect shifts in the magnetic fields due to your gestures. Microsoft just did a proof of concept showing the sensor knew when you assumed various postures.
Currently, it’s a bit bulky, but they’re working on slimming it down and fitting it to cell phones and other devices. There are all sorts of applications: two the researchers mentioned were controlling your house’s light and thermostat, or touching a bus stop pole and getting a text message with the next arrival time.
As a possible gaming device, it has appeal because you won’t need to stand in front of a camera, or even in the same room if you don’t want to. You’ll be able to control via gesture in any room of the house, possibly even outside.
Just configure this so a scratch below the waist is “pause”, OK guys?
[ via the air guitarists at New Scientist ]