Computer Trends: Gesture Technology Eliminates Desktop Mouse

The desktop mouse is soon to be a relic of the past. Gesture-driven computers are arising that could even replace touch screens, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Instead of using the mouse or even a touch screen, new technology has emerged that allows users to control computer screens with a flick of their hand. Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., and Google Inc. have all joined the tech race to develop gesture technology. Microsoft, for example, created Kinect in 2010, a game which players follow dance movements on the screen.

Startup Leap Motion began taking orders for a device that allows users to control any desktop or laptop computer by waving their hands and fingers. Where Microsoft’s Kinect tracks sweeping movements such as waving your arm back and forth, Leap Motion tracks smaller movements within fractions of millimeters. With the Leap interface device, users are able to write words or draw a picture.

Google’s augmented reality glasses are another example. Specially modified glasses use gesture technology in addition to sensors and voice recognition that give users information about the world around them.

Proponents of the newest computer technology say it will be easier to carry out current tasks. In addition, it will help take on trickier tasks, such as creating 3-D models to help try on clothes virtually (see our recent post) or train athletes. The technology could even help surgeons in browsing medical imagery during surgery without touching anything, or used in physical therapy programs to tell whether patients are doing the movements correctly.

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