Now, a robotic computer that can be operated by gestures
Forget about using keyboard or mouse to operate your computer, for scientists have now developed a PC with a robotic neck that can be controlled only by gestures.Updated: Mar 03, 2009 18:11 IST
Forget about using keyboard or mouse to operate your computer, for scientists have now developed a PC with a robotic neck that can be controlled only by gestures.
The music and game-playing gadget, called QB1 computer, was showcased at the Lift conference in Geneva last week.
Frederic Kaplan at the Swiss Federal Institutes in Lausanne said that conventional personal computers were too demanding, and people must generally sit to interact with one, and use both their hands and full concentration.
"Personal computers now tend to be used in casual settings, where the sitting position is actually unnatural," New Scientist magazine quoted Kaplan as saying.
He pointed out that for playing music at a party, or using a computer to help cook a meal, the traditional interface of mouse and keyboard interface is not of much help.
He stressed that his QB1 computer, designed and built with industrial designer Martino d''Esposito, is less distracting.
Boasting a screen, QB1 doesn’t have any physical interfaces like a keyboard or a mouse.
The screen is fitted on a motorised robotic "neck" that tilts its monitor to face anyone nearby, like one person seeking eye contact with another.
In order to interact with QB1, users can only use hand and arm gestures, which are detected by a motion-sensing camera built into the screen.
Then, the gestures appear on the screen, which acts like a digital mirror so a user can see what their input is achieving.
In fact, the screen is fitted with a number of LEDS that illuminate the room with infrared light used by the camera to perceive depth and capture a rough 3D picture of its surroundings.
Thus, the computer can vary the size of text or other information on the screen as per the distance of the user.
Soon, volunteers will be testing prototypes of the device in their homes.
"These trials in real contexts are essential to turn QB1 into a real product. We wish to attract very different profiles of users, hopefully from different countries and cultural backgrounds," said Kaplan.
First Published: Mar 03, 2009 18:11 IST