This touchless gesture control fad has to stop before it starts
3. phones522 (Posts: 94; Member since: 27 Jan 2010)
i still think its cool to have as an option like what if u have a fake hand that would be useful
4. Commentator (Posts: 3692; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
I disagree. If a company puts millions of dollars into researching this kind of thing and believes there to be a market for it, all power to them. I wouldn't call for its complete cancellation. It's not like this kind of technology is corrupting society or promoting genocide or anything, and our economy is driven by new ideas. I personally don't understand the appeal of 3D movies, but some people enjoy them, and I have to accept that.
To close, in the words of Gandalf: "Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends [for touchless gesture control]."
12. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Your point with 3D is exactly what I'm saying. All of the dollars for R&D on touch-free controls, just like 3D are a gimmick aimed at nothing more than making money. There is no added value in touch-free.
There can be added value in 3D (as proven with Avatar), but filmmakers have to be willing to put in the effort. Most aren't, so all we get are movies and TVs that cost more.
17. Commentator (Posts: 3692; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
I think we're disagreeing on what constitutes "value." My uncle, for instance, has an Evo 3D. He likes the 3D function that it has. Therefore, from his perspective, it adds value to the phone. These companies are assuming there are enough people out there who will find enough value in touch-free technology to buy them. Could they be wrong? Absolutely. But they could also be on the verge of something revolutionary. (And I know you wrote this article to disprove that, but forgive me for being open-minded.)
19. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I hope I'm wrong and there is a use-case that I'm not imagining, but I can't see the value in touch-free gestures until there is some sort of tactile feedback to it. If I don't have to touch the screen, but I can still feel what I'm doing? That's the real revolutionary technology. As is, I can't see this as much more than a gimmick, or something that is useful in winter.
5. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
gotta disagree. as an owner of a kinect it has very good uses... its just not useful in all situations. pretending to hold a steering wheel is pointless and counter active (oversteer and innacuracies abound) but natural hand motions and games meant for whole body movement means that gestures open up a whole new world that controllers can't touch.
not sure how useful gestures on a phone would be but when you doc it to your PC or car it could be very useful
11. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
That's exactly the point. Kinect may have some good uses for controlling a TV on the other side of the room, but what's the value in having it on a device that's in your hand?
Car doesn't help because as I said, the aim of "hands-free" in a car is to keep your hands on the wheel, which won't be the case if you're waving at your phone.
26. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
I'm going to default to my regular argument for technology people dont see a use for. Just because we dont see a use for it today does not mean we wont have a use for it tomorrow.
6. WWThinker (Posts: 55; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
Nokia shows us two incredible concepts, what has Apple shown us? It has enough cash to buy two companies like Nokia. Yet, it seems to only have interest at milking us the consumers for profits. I would like to see Apple spending a significant portion of its cash pile on R&D, especially the long-term variants. With so much money and the faithful followings of so many fans, Apple should extend its leadership not by just making the most money than every high tech company in the world, but also tell us what the technologies of tomorrow could be, help the society (at least the USA who is in nimble) to become a better one (i.e. corporate citizenship). Steve Jobs never shows that kind of moral, would Tim Cook be a more earthly person?
7. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
what do u think apple does? do you think they just poop out ipads/iphones/macs without any r&d?
apple is based partly on secrecy and the "surprise" and "oh that is really cool" factor… if they show us what they are going to do in the future, it kind of defeats the purpose… and i wouldnt hold your breath about apple becoming more open and "good"…
8. WWThinker (Posts: 55; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
In the history of mainkind, all the leading CE and computing companies always showed us what were in the "future" pipelines. The purpose was mostly to share concepts. Further, doing so stimulated more thoughts from the other intellects around the world, resulting in more innovations in an expedited way. If Apple keeps on the secrecy (one would argue that there is NO truly new things under the Sun especially with the flow of information over the internet), does Apple still justify the recognition of a leader? Or, it will go down the history as simply a filthy-rich merchant especially when Apple is so lacking of "good citizenship" since its inception!
29. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
so you are saying only truly great companies show others what they are working on… it seems like a terrible way to rate a company
13. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Good job going completely off topic in order to start a fight. Very helpful.
9. paladinkar (unregistered)
I agree that while right now it seems a useless techonology, in a decade the use of 3D screens and gesture technology will be used as pieces to create the "futuristic" devices that we want (Tony Stark's stuff)
15. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
The problem is that most "futuristic" devices that people want are gimmicks in real-world use. The idea of video chatting on a phone was futuristic at one point, but how often does anyone use it?
Give me futuristic AND useful. I don't want 3D screens with gesture tech. If you gave me holograms with kinetic feedback, gestures might be okay, but at that point it would be less of a gesture and more touch. The point is that even if I'm controlling something via hologram (a la Minority Report), I want to be able to feel those holograms.
18. Commentator (Posts: 3692; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
If you want "futuristic AND useful" we're going to have to start somewhere. I also disagree with the haptic feedback issue. If I were controlling holograms floating around in front of me, and they were responsive enough to my gestures, I couldn't care less about being able to feel them. I'm seeing them and manipulating them and that's enough for me.
20. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
That's just silly. If you can't feel what you're doing, that means you have to look at what you're doing at all times to make sure you're doing what you want to. That creates a huge reduction in efficiency. It's the same reason why we saw those laser keyboards years ago, but they never caught on, because if you can't feel what you're doing, you can't touch type, so where's the benefit?
21. Commentator (Posts: 3692; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
If it were able to translate specific hand or finger gestures into text, the haptic feedback while typing would become moot. It would obviously take a while to get used to, and may be no more efficient than handwriting something, but then again someone could devise a Swype-like system make it much faster.
22. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I can see that being good for shorter messages where a gesture can be a phrase, but for longer messages, i'm still not sure. Unless of course everyone were to learn sign language.
Still, I have to thank you for being my devil's advocate on this piece. I just added a bit to the end which was prompted by your thoughts.
31. bayusuputra (Posts: 963; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)
for the first time i have to disagree with you, Michael.. but hey, this what makes a good discussion, right?
i can't feel anything other than the cold (or sometimes hot) glass on my touch screen now, i don't have haptic feedback turned on, and i can still use my device..
in touch screen devices nowadays, we still need some visual cues as to what we are touching/dragging/tapping..
what i can see from this technology is like what paladinkar said, those 3D image projections coming out from a screen, a la Tony Stark..
i don't think we need to be able to feel those image if the response is good enough that you can twist around or bloat the 3D image with no problem, then why not? after all, in your article you said things about human senses, and the ability to see the 3D image and manipulate that with gestures seems perfectly in line with the natural human design..
yes, a handshake is better than waving, but do you also remember that when we talk, or describing something, we also use body language and visual cues to imagine things?
this may not be useful for the average customers, but imagine what it can do for designers, or engineers, they can use 3D images and manipulate them to improve their designing efficiency.. we may not be able to see what this technology can bring now, none of us can predict the future, but i am sure that this technology can add benefits to our lives.. it may not be a replacement for touch screen, but it may be the perfect compliment for it, just like what voice control can compliment devices today.. it may be just a gimmick in smartphones with touch screens, but it may be the main interacting feature in devices of the future..
i can imagine a new line of samsung galaxy beam (or any other device, but now i can only think of that one) that can project 3D image coupled with this technology that can be used in corporate meetings to discuss the design of the new company product where everyone can share their ideas by interacting with the image, all by using the smartphone, which still has touch screen for its normal telephony usage..
the implementation may not be the best now, but i am sure that technological breakthrough like this can find a better applications in the future.. this is just merely the building block, to show that this technology is achievable, not just science fictions.. just like the PureView camera, people call it ridiculous, but i see pixel binning technology as something that can benefit the future cameraphones, or other cameras as well.. so this may be something in the future, just that we can't see it yet..
34. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)
You can use your touchscreen without feedback because you're constantly looking at it. Have you ever tried doing something on your phone without looking? It's incredibly difficult.
35. bayusuputra (Posts: 963; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)
the name is touch screen.. what is a screen in a device? isn't it something to look at? you were saying about natural designs and so on, but i guess sight is part of that design, and so do gestures.. we use body language, too, don't we?
yes, i tried not to look at before, many occasions (especially turning off alarm), and it's hard.. maybe you are right, a haptic feedback like vibrations or even the innovative texture feedback is better, but like i said, there are other possibilities with this touchless control that we may not realise yet..
i'm not saying that your opinion is totally wrong.. i agree, at this time, it is merely a gimmick.. but try to be optimistic and think about the usage of this.. it may not be for everyone, but i believe there will be a use for this for others, maybe a special group.. maybe for the our brothers and sisters who are not as capable as we are?
most of your articles really engage the both sides of the arguments, but for this one, i guess you are just bashing it.. i'm sorry to say that, although you are still one of the best tech writers out there..
so yeah, hope you understand what i am trying to convey.. :)
33. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)
10. andro. (Posts: 1998; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)
I have to agree a phone or tablet is a hand held device and much of the ui experience is in the tactile nature of its control. Touchless gestures is taking away the natural interaction with the product
14. Captain_Doug (Posts: 997; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
I agree solely on the basis of precision.
16. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
im no fan of kinect or other touchless gesture systems. i do think there may be a few possibilities for the technology.
#1- interaction with projections. we may not be there yet, but why not invest now?
#2- 3d touch gestures on phone. imagine pinch can become "pinch and pull".
#3- handheld gaming. i dont know about you michael but im sick of operating GTAIII on a touchscreen. the added dimension of gestures can give way to better controls.
25. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
I believe touchless gesture is suitable for giant screen. Say 32inch minimum.
27. trumpet116 (Posts: 27; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)
I completely disagree. Imagine sitting in front of Windows 8 on your desktop computer and all you have to do is wave your hands around. Maybe they could combine it with the eye-tracking software other companies are working on. Then you would just have to wave your hands around and look at stuff and occasionally maybe type. That sounds awesome to me!
28. pbui.818 (Posts: 78; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)
I am glad you wrote this commentary. I agree with many of your arguments though not all. I do feel you took the time to construct your writing well and that is uncommon today.
Touch is often less effective than physical keys with tactile/haptic feedback.
Gesture input is redundant and less essential and less effective than touch.
I do think that kinetic tactile haptic feedback is valuable. I even repeatedly attest to the need for QWERTY keyboards. I think it would be nice to combine a laser projected keyboard with an onscreen virtual keyboard for the purpose of giving visual input feedback as to where your fingers are and avoiding smudging. The camera should be precise enough to detect three dimensional position to within fractions of a millimeter in order to determine space between rapidly moving fingertips and the surface they're moving across. visual feedback could be sufficient in many cases if the speedy touch typist is able to see both the keyboard and the text output on parts of the screen when the mirrored virtual keyboard is still within the peripheral field of vision.
A larger screen would be required. a handheld-only device has very little use for gestures. good voice control should suffice. when driving, sync the phone with the car and combine voice with buttons on the steering wheel and windshield heads-up display.
I hate smudges.
The rest of this rant goes into the future of 3D tech...
3D tv will eventually find a place. The limitation I see is that although we have stereoscopic vision, we can physically move and change our perspective. 3D video technology today does little to account for our abilities to reposition ourselves around the subject we're viewing. We need more perspectives recorded from the source. We need the ability to walk around the TV and have the technology stitch together video imagery from three, four or more cameras to give us the right view. On the consumer side, that also requires only one person can look at the television at a time and it requires the TV track the viewer and rotate following the viewer or the viewer wears goggles. The important thing about existing 3D is that it isn't immersive enough but it straddles two worlds which forces your brain to compensate for conflicted input. More camera sources are needed and an actual 3d model needs to be generated so consumers can move through it. to make it a social experience, each viewer needs to be able to move through it independently which means goggles or much much later instant 3D printing.
30. itiswhatitis (Posts: 423; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)
I thumb you up just because you wrote way too much!!Do it again...
32. xpr3ss10n (Posts: 58; Member since: 15 Dec 2011)
Michael, I respect your writing so much. I'd have to partially disagree with you when it comes to gesture technology. I do not think that this tech would be very useful in handheld mobile devices with screens smaller than 10inches
.however, why not bring a kinect like experience enhanced by voice recognition to a tablet. Imagine playing a single person shooter where you speak for some actions and geature for others. Maybe speaking to move your character around the map while gesturing to throw a grenade at an enemy. I think that by itseld the tech wouldnt be useful but by combining it along with voice tech it could bring a enhanced gaming experience to a mobile scenario. The question is, do people really want to be throwing there arms like grenades in public lol. Idk. But there is some use for this tech and it wouls generate enough revenue to pay for its research if it were implemented correctly.
36. Satioco07 (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
wow, you are a freaking closed minded tool...i honestly cant believe i'm reading this from a site like phone arena..(i personally think you should be fired for writing such a close minded artical on such an informative and awsome site) first off, its called innovation--something you fail at seeing. im f****ing tired of seeing post's from b**chy lil girls about how this isn't innovative and how nobody is coming out with anything new or extra ordinary or....and now a new innovative tech is in its early early beta form and you mofos are ripping it to sheads...you are probably the same ones b****ing about lack of inovation...wtf..its people like you that ruin it for the rest of the world. no--it may not have very many uses right now, but thats where creative people like programers, engineers and---everyone but people with your mindset, come into play. they are like artists--they take whats there and make something awsome with it!!!
So--stop f***ing bashing concepts you don't understand...now that you are done reading this, you can go back to swinging that hammer and cycle with your friends over at apple..where everything is the same and anything new is smashed with an iron fist...
37. Satioco07 (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
i was a harsh on the name calling and appologize for that...and no, you shouldn't loose your job...just be mindful when bashing a new tech...cell phones where once a new tech idea too...
38. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
You know, after playing Mass Effect with my kinnect.. I know what feature I want implemented. An always on voice control system when in "Car Mode" or another way to turn it always on in the background., so i dont have to push any buttons or anything. Just say "galaxy3, play Pearl Jam's No Code album" while keeping both hands and eyes on the wheel, or any other time when i just dont feel like reaching for the device.
39. carlitosanzola (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
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