Are you waving at me or buying a pizza?

Tap screens for navigation are about to be upstaged by “gesture recognition” as the next cool way to interact with smartphones, computers and TVs. For the real believers, gesture recognition could ultimately make input devices such as the keyboard, mouse and TV remote control obsolete. Or, be a step toward science fiction type stuff like controlling devices with our eyes and facial gestures.

Think of it – no more TV remotes! With a specific hand gesture, you can pause, change channels or even wave at an icon to buy a pizza from an advertisement. Gesture recognition electronics provide new possibilities for how we navigate and interact with our devices through gestures. The technology has some life changing aspects too like allowing the disabled to interact with computers using sign language.

Basically, the new apps are stepping up a level from what Wii achieved with gestures in its gaming apps, only the new tech doesn’t require holding a controller connected to a device. Your hand is the only device you’ll need with gesture recognition.

Like MasterCard has a prototype integrated with Xbox Kinect where you can order things such as pizza from TV advertising by waving at it. The wave has to be a specific programmed gesture the TV recognizes as “buy now” or else you’d be ordering all kinds of things whenever you moved your hands.

HP believed enough in the potential of the technology to recently pay $10 billion for Autonomy, a U.K. software company that has developed image-processing techniques for gesture-recognizing augmented reality. Autonomy has a free app that does really mind-blowing stuff. It blends physical and virtual worlds together through imagery that lets you interact with it through hand gestures. Check out Autonomy’s app at - Aurasma app.

Also, watch some video examples of gesture recognition’s potential:

Gesture control of TV gaming and applications - SmartKinetic

Research group shows interactive shop window

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