Vtouch pushes gestural control for the smart home

Demoed at CHI 2015, the system uses Kinect-based pointing to control connected appliances

At the CHI 2015 conference in Seoul, South Korean startup Vtouch is demoing a Kinect-based gesture system that can also control household lights, stereos and thermostats with a single 3D camera.

At the CHI 2015 conference in Seoul, South Korean startup Vtouch is demoing a Kinect-based gesture system that can also control household lights, stereos and thermostats with a single 3D camera.

TVs with gestural control are nothing new, but a South Korean startup is using set-top 3D motion sensors to control not only on-screen content but connected appliances in the smart home.

At the CHI 2015 conference in Seoul, formally titled Human Factors in Computing Systems, Vtouch is demoing a Kinect-based gesture system that can also control household lights, stereos and thermostats with a single 3D camera.

Users sit several meters from a large-screen TV and undergo a quick calibration by pointing at a circle on the display. Then it's simply a question of pointing or swiping in midair to choose or scroll through menu options on the system, which is also called Vtouch. Users can play video, channel surf or try video games such as darts.

Where it gets interesting is pointing to objects that aren't on the TV. Indicating a connected stereo or a lamp in the corner, for instance, will turn it on or off. Pointing at a thermostat or photo frame on the wall will call up an air conditioning or picture gallery app on the TV screen.

In one demo video on YouTube, the system is used to "throw" content from one TV screen onto another several meters away.

The Kinect tracks the user's eyes and index finger, which are almost always aligned, allowing for precise gestural input, according to the company.

"This is not Kinect-dependent. We can use any other 3D sensor on the market," said Nathan Kim, COO of Vtouch.

The technology has been in development for several years, and the company is working on embedding the gestural-processing software, currently handled by a PC, into a compact motion sensor unit.

It has yet to announce a timeline for commercialization but hopes to apply the technology for digital signage in public spaces such as shops and movie theaters as well as in the household.

Tim Hornyak covers Japan and emerging technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Tim on Twitter at @robotopia.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags CHIconsumer electronicsMicrosoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?