AllSee Low Power Gesture Recognition

Gesture control for small electronic devices could become a reality with AllSee, developed by University of Washington engineers. This system costs less than a dollar per unit, and does not require a battery for power. Zaphod Beeblebrox would love this.


(AllSee Gesture Recognition video)

Existing gesture-recognition systems consume significant power and computational resources that limit how they may be used in low-end devices. We introduce AllSee, the first gesture-recognition system that can operate on a range of computing devices including those with no batteries. AllSee consumes three to four orders of magnitude lower power than state-of-the-art systems and can enable always-on gesture recognition for smartphones and tablets. It extracts gesture information from existing wireless signals (e.g., TV transmissions), but does not incur the power and computational overheads of prior wireless approaches. We build AllSee prototypes that can recognize gestures on RFID tags and power-harvesting sensors. We also integrate our hardware with an off-the-shelf Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone. This enables gesture control such as volume changes while the phone is in a pocket.

In his 1979 novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams describes a similar gesture-controlled interface that, well, could be a bit more precise.

A loud clatter of gunk music flooded through the Heart of Gold cabin as Zaphod searched the sub-etha radio wave bands for news of himself. The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive--you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same program.

Zaphod waved a hand and the channel switched again.

Via University of Washington.

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