(ED NOTE: The proofreaders are abuzz around the watercooler about this new tech; some have already said this tech would be ideal to use to control their spouse! We are including this post, because we feel it will also come to be used in healthcare. Already, it is being used in the OR where surgeons can control their viewing of MRI’s in the OR)
October 4, 2013 at 2:30:00 PM by Darren Orf
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Google has famously hit the streets with its fleet of self-driving cars, pushing the technology that will put the task of operating autos in the hands of machines. But that doesn’t mean Mountain View has forgotten about the flesh-and-blood occupants. Yesterday Google applied for a patent
that would let drivers control their auto’s entertainment and temperature controls with just hand gestures.The currently hypothetical process would use ceiling-mounted depth cameras and laser scanners to record gestures. For instance, tapping a speaker could raise or lower the volume, while other hand movements could signal window control, windshield wipers, or seat adjustment. This patent comes only one day after Google acquired Flutter, a San Francisco startup that aims to bring motion control to modern computing by using only the hardware’s built-in camera. It appears Google isn’t wasting any time to take advantage of its newest acquisition.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see this technology anytime soon. But should gesture control really take off in cars, future autos could have a stripped down and simpler dash, eliminating most if not all button interfaces. Google’s patent is a little hazy on how it will tell the difference between car-control gestures and drivers just moving around. If it’s anything like Kinect, the motions themselves will have to be unique to separate them from the background noise of humans simply moving around or twitching. At PopMech, we like the physical switches and buttons in a dash, but Google has other ideas.
Although motion to adjust radio stations and other actions that takes your eyes off the road would be welcomed, gestures to open and close windows or saving you the trouble of turning on windshield wipers with a flick of the wrist might be a little overzealous. But you’d best enjoy the tactile driving experience while you can, because it may not long for the auto world.
Read more: Google Wants to Bring Gesture Control to Your Car – Popular Mechanics
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