Do you keep finding yourself looking for that damn TV remote? Ever wish it could be something that’s closer to hand, like your mug of tea, your cushion or even Mr Fluffles – your freeloading pet cat?
Well, researchers at Lancaster University have developed a system that means you can now control the Tele with anything. And yes, by that we do mean anything!
In a similar manner to the Xbox Kinect, the researcher’s system, ‘Matchpoint’, uses a webcam to track movement. It is therefore operated by motion rather than a specific object. However, the difference to previous technologies lies in its simplicity. Rather than analysing the hand, body or object performing the movement, the system is solely focussed on the movement itself.
Not only will this make the everyday easier, it also provides an ideal alternative to those who struggle operating traditional input methods like the mouse, keyboard or remote.
Christopher Clarke, PhD student at Lancaster University’s School of Computing and Communications, and developer of the technology, said: “Spontaneous spatial coupling is a new approach to gesture control that works by matching movement instead of asking the computer to recognise a specific object.
“Our method allows for a much more user-friendly experience where you can change channels without having to put down your drink, or change your position, whether that is relaxing on the sofa or standing in the kitchen following a recipe.”
It is designed to operate like a slider mechanism, so it’s ideal for changing the channel or adjusting the volume. There is also the potential for multiple users so Mum can use her book or Dad can use his slipper.
What a time to be alive, the fight for what to watch now has a whole new dynamic.