3dim turns your phone into a mini Kinect, turns arm-flailing into commands

There’s little else as annoying as trying see your phone's screen while your big sausage fingers block the view because you have to tap everywhere. A Cambridge, Massachusetts company called 3dim feels your pain, and has won MIT’s prestigious Robert P. Goldberg award of $100,000 to create the first gesture control and 3D sensing camera for mobile devices.

3dim claims the interface, which will read facial expressions as well as a wide range of hand or body gestures, could make touch screens “obsolete.” The company is confident that the broader range of “natural” input options will allow a touch-free method of interaction that won't require you to obscure your screen with your fingers or styluses.

3dimWebVideo1 from Hye Soo Yang on Vimeo.

Specialized hardware and power-hungry technology have made it hard for phone makers to include 3D gesture-capture technology on their devices. 3dim believes that a sophisticated method of sensing motion and exploiting compressed 3D signals can keep costs low and battery drain to a minimum, making it ideal for hands-free mobile devices akin to Google Glass.

“Our vision is to become the leading provider of embedded software for 3D capture, enabling applications in mobile productivity, mobile gaming, smart wearables, and smart home appliances,” said Ahmed Kirmani, an MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science PhD student, in a release. “By winning the $100K, we are even better positioned to improve the way millions of users interact with their smart devices.”

3dim says that its technology will be ready for mobile manufacturers to integrate it with their devices in 2014.

[3dim]

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This story, "3dim turns your phone into a mini Kinect, turns arm-flailing into commands" was originally published by TechHive.

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