60-Second Tech

Controlling Some Devices Will Be a Snap

Various HP products will soon be controllable by hand gestures. Larry Greenemeier reports

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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