Gesture Recognition On Smartphones Can Become A Norm With New Technology From Washington University

The time has come to say goodbye to touch screens and sensing technologies. Yes, controlling smartphones via gestures can soon become a reality and we can do away with sensing technologies which consume a lot of battery power. You will be able to mute the song playing on your smartphone in your pocket by flicking your index finger in the air. This kind of gesture control for electronics could soon become an alternative to touchscreens and sensing technologies. The team who developed this gesture technology is led by an Indian-origin researcher with computer scientists from University of Washington. It is a low-cost gesture recognition system that runs without batteries and lets users control the device with hand movements even if it is out of sight.


Called ‘AllSee’, the prototype uses existing TV signals as a power source and means for detecting a user’s gestures. An assistant professor at University of Washington, Shyam Gollakota claims that this is the first gesture recognition system that can be implemented for less than a dollar and doesn’t require battery. The researchers have built a small sensor that can be placed on a smartphone or a tablet. The sensor uses an ultra-low-power receiver to extract and classify gesture information from wireless transmissions. When the user gestures with his hand, it changes the amplitude of the wireless signals in the air and then the sensors recognize unique amplitude changes created by specific gestures.


Although, gesture recognition system is already available on some smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S4 but users have to first manually enable this feature and if left on, it drains out the phone’s battery very fast. On the other hand, AllSee consumes only tens of microwatts of power and can always be left on. The user could gesture at the phone in a pocket or handbag to change the volume or mute the phone without having to touch or see the phone. This technology can further be implemented on other household electronics and make it possible to interact with devices using gestures.

AllSee has already been tested on smartphones and battery-free sensors and the gestures could be identified more than 90 percent of the time. Eight different hand gestures were used from more than two feet away from the device. The response time of the technology was found to be less than 80 microseconds, 1,000 times faster than blinking an eye.

The new technology is set to be showcased at the 'Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation conference' in Seattle between April 2-4, 2014. Can this technology bring a new storm in the tech world? Share your views with us in comments.

Source: Battery-free technology brings gesture recognition to all devices | UW News


  • Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran
    Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran
    Stunning tech upgrade.So we can expect this control system to be in the smartphones in coming days.
    Low battery consumption makes it a great deal.
  • Chirayu Samarth
    Chirayu Samarth
    This technology will surely create a storm in tech world....

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