Controlling Some Devices Will Be a Snap

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The future will likely bring two main ways of telling our computers, tablets and smartphones what to do: voice commands and hand gestures. Voice is already off and running with technology like Apple’s Siri. Now HP says that within a few months you’ll be able to control its gadgets using hand signals.

Beginning in mid May, HP customers will be able to buy an $80 USB plug-in controller made by a company called Leap Motion. The company says it can track individual finger movements with one one-hundreth of a millimeter precision. HP plans to eventually embed Leap Motion’s controllers in its products.

Leap Motion will also have an app store called Airspace where HP users can buy gesture-controlled games and other software.

Other companies, including Microsoft with its wrist-worn “Digits” prototype, want to make scrolling through screens, playing games and watching video a snap—sometimes literally. The bad news: once your computer learns hand signals, it will know when you’re flipping it off.

—Larry Greenemeier

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]


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