By Craig Zammit
SYDNEY: Scientists from Wollongong University claim to have received interest from both Sony and Samsung for a new hand-gesture-based television remote control which enables users to control their TV by moving their hands through the air.
School of electrical computer and telecommunications engineering lecturer, Prashan Premaratne and electrical engineering PHD, Quang Nguyen, are behind the innovative devise known simply as the Wave Controller Box, which consists of a built-in camera to sense a users hand movements and convert the information into instructions which can change the channel or volume and even turn the television on and off.
“We were watching the news and wanted to change the channel and couldn’t find the remote,” Premaratne told The Daily Telegraph.
“We eventually found the remote under the lounge but we missed the program. This happens in many households so as an engineer I thought maybe I could do something about it.”
The Wave Controller Box interprets many simple hand signals such as a ‘thumbs up’ for changing the channel and a ‘peace sign’ gesture held horizontally and waved sideways for changing channels.
Gaming companies around the world have discussed similar technology in recent times, with Microsoft discussing the potential for a video game camera which can interpret a user’s full body motion and translate that movement into a controlling mechanism for on-screen characters.
Sony has also invested in similar technology through its popular Eye-Toy peripheral, while the control mechanism inside Nintendo’s Wii console sees user hand motions directly controlling on-screen movement when holding the console controller.