Toshiba, Hitachi show gesture-controlled TVs

Toshiba and Hitachi have displayed gesture-controlled TVs at this week's CES in Las Vegas.

We're all used to hitting the power button to switch on our television but could a wave do it in the future? Both Hitachi and Toshiba are demonstrating motion sensing televisions at this week's Consumer Electronics Show and say they could be on the market in as soon as two years.

Both sets work on infrared sensors placed near the screen that monitor a user's hand movements and convert them into commands for controlling the TV.

The Hitachi prototype enables users to turn the TV on and off with a wave, change channels by moving their hands from side-to-side and control volume by moving their hands in a circular motion.

The Toshiba TV employs three-dimensional hand gestures to allow users to navigate recorded video content. You can zoom in or out from a screen full of video clips by bring your hands closer together or further apart, start it with a gesture and then fast forward or reverse through the clip with side-to-side movements.

Toshiba said it was looking into the technology for possible use on its Cell TV, a TV set based on the powerful Cell processor. The TV is due on the market in Japan this year but the technology won't necessarily be in the first model.

Toshiba is keen to differentiate its TVs from lower priced competitors and sees such technologies as a way to do it.

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Martyn Williams

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