BARCELONA, Spain — Motion sensors similar to the Xbox Kinect could be coming to mobile phones. With this new technology, mobile device users could use swiping motions to answer calls and navigate around menus, and zoom in and out by twisting a fist.
Dallas-based Texas Instruments and XTR Extreme Reality, an Israeli company, showed the new mobile gesture technology at Mobile World Congress. “This is Kinect for mobile,” said Michael Genkin, who works in customer support for XTR.
The technology is built on Texas Instrument’s OMAP4 chip system, which will go inside the new Playbook tablet from Research In Motion and the LG Optimus 3-D phone, but the technology can also work on PCs, laptops and television.
It shows companies are hot on the trail of Microsoft’s Kinect technology, which allows people to play Xbox games by making gestures and moving their bodies.
The technology captures the movement through a single 2-D camera. Microsoft’s Kinect technology uses a 3-D camera to capture motion. XTR has built a catalog of gestures that can connect to different controls, such as answering a call or playing music.
Here is a video demonstration of the technology with Genkin and Roman Staszewski, a systems engineer at Texas Instruments. The black and red device that captures the motion is a development platform from TI, not a finished device that it will be sold on.
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