Coming to iPad: Touchless technology like Kinect (video)

A Norwegian company, Elliptic Labs, plans to unveil its touchless controls on an iPad at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in January. Check out the features in the video.

Paul Sakuma/AP/file
Andres Schobel holds up two iPads as one of the first customers to buy iPads in April at an Apple Store in San Francisco.

With Microsoft’s Kinect system now in place it comes as no surprise that other manufacturers would try and clone similar technology into their own systems, but we had no idea it would be Apple’s iPad!

It seems that a Norwegian company called Elliptic Labs is set demonstrate its new touchless gesture user interface for the iPad at CES 2011. To achieve the gesture control the interface is said to harness ultrasound to generate a field that will project at least one foot in front or to the side of a docked iPad. Users can then wave their hands about in front of the screen to control the device.

MacRumours managed to speak with the CEO of this company (Stian Aldrin) who explained the reasonings behind the tech:

The idea is that you use touchless gestures to operate primary functions of a docked tablet in situations like when you have wet or greasy hands in the kitchen. In general tablets are made for being handheld. When it is docked you are often walking or standing further away, and then using a finger on the screen involves a change of modality. Rather than bending down, leaning forward or picking it up you can use larger movements a little bit further away to do things like volume up or next song without changing modality.

Personally I love the whole concept of the Kinect and it’s good to see that other companies are embracing the technology in new ways. Apple has also expressed its own interest in Kinect-like gestures and voice control, so we may see new products emerging from the corporate giant in the not too distant future.

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