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New Applications for Gesture Recognition Technology


In the near future, gesture recognition technology will routinely add yet another dimension to human interactions with consumer electronic devices -- such as PCs, media tablets and smartphones.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, they now forecast that 600 million smartphones will be shipped with vision-based gesture recognition features in 2017.

"Gesture recognition is a very exciting prospect, particularly for smartphones and tablets," says ABI Research senior analyst Josh Flood.

Camera-based tracking for gesture recognition has actually been in use for some time. Leading video game consoles -- Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation -- both have gesture recognition built-in; known as Kinect and PlayStation Eye respectively.

These devices are in their seventh and eighth generation. However, several challenges remain for gesture recognition technology for mobile devices, including effectiveness of the technology in adverse light conditions, variations in the background, and high power consumption.

It's believed these problems can be overcome with different tracking solutions and new technologies. As an example, Qualcomm has been heavily promoting its Snapdragon chipset processors’ visional gesture recognition technology, and Intel has primarily focused upon touch capabilities for new ultrabooks.

Currently, only a small number of the smartphones shipped have gesture recognition. Pantech, a Korean smartphone OEM, began selling its Vega LTE handset in Korea during November 2011 with gesture recognition technology -- using camera-based tracking capabilities.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor will offer smartphone OEMs the ability to have camera, infrared, and ultrasound based tracking. These tracking solutions give smartphone OEMs and app designers some attractive techniques for new interactions and enhancing the user's experience.

Additionally, gesture recognition will likely become a useful feature for all media tablets, portable media players, and portable game players. Over time, it is anticipated that a higher percentage of media tablets will have the technology, rather than smartphones.

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