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"I prefer working by artificial light."
- Isaac Asimov

Gesture-Controlled Device  
  An electronic device that is controlled by hand gestures.  

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.

From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams.
Published by Harmony Books in 1979
Additional resources -

Compare to the hand wave control from Philip K. Dick's 1955 novel Solar Lottery. See also the filing crystal from Samuel R. Delany's Babel-17 (1968).

Thanks to Erik Nodacker for contributing this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  More Ideas and Technology by Douglas Adams
  Tech news articles related to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  Tech news articles related to works by Douglas Adams

Gesture-Controlled Device-related news articles:
  - Gesture-Controlled TV Update
  - JVC Clapper Gesture Recognition TV
  - Robot Accepts Gesture Commands
  - Arm Swing Authentication For Mobile Phones
  - Walky iPhone Finger Gesture Robot Controller
  - Gesture Cube Touch-Free Input
  - 3D Input Interfaces For Gesture-Controlled Phones
  - PrimeSense WAVI Xtion Gesture Control Of TV
  - Geremin Gesture-Controlled Dashboard
  - Control Robot Planes With Hand Gestures!
  - GestIC Gesture Recognition Controller Uses Electrical Fields
  - AllSee Low Power Gesture Recognition
  - VW Golf R Touch With Gesture Control
  - WatchSense Perfect For Fat-Fingered Smartwatch Owners

Articles related to Engineering
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Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale

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