My brother Cyrus “the Virus” is currently finishing up a stint at Georgia Tech in Hot-Lanta. At Tech, he is involved with a research project involving gesture recognition. He is actually busy hacking away right now creating a role-playing game that let’s you cast spells in the game using hand gestures. Pretty awesome right?
For those of you that are not familiar with gesture recognition technology, it is pretty simple in principle. Essentially, instead of using standard input/output devices like a mouse, or keyboard, you can leverage hand gestures as a mechanism to control computer software. Remember how Tom Cruise could navigate through all those “mental pictures” from the psychics on that huge police monitor in the 2002 movie Minority Report just by using his hands? That’s gesture recognition!
Anyway, during his wacky research he stumbled across a mouse gesture recognition plug-in for Firefox.This thing is a cool as hell. Essentially you can control your browser using “mouse gestures.” Mouse gestures are analogous to hand gestures. For instance, if you hold down the “right-click” button on a standard two button mouse, drag to the left (think back), and then release you can navigate to your previous page. Similarly, to go forward you perform pretty much the same operation except you drag to the right (think forward). There are a bunch of other cool things you can do like open tabs, minimize the window, etc. For those of you that really like to use your mouse, this is a pretty neat add-on to an already cool browser environment. As we move forward towards a world of pervasive computing, alternative human-computer interfaces like gesture interfaces, voice interfaces, and even neuro-silicon interfaces (Matrix) will become increasingly important.