The finger is the remote control of the future

Finger control - the remote control of the future being demonstrated at CeBit 2009
Finger control - the remote control of the future being demonstrated at CeBit 2009

A gesture controlled 3D TV is set to be unveiled at CeBit in Germany next month, suggesting that the good old remote control could well soon be replaced by Wii-like motion control.

iPoint 3D is the name of the new gesture recognition device designed for 3D tellies, on show at CeBit courtesy of the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications.

Fraunhofer claims that its iPoint 3D tech "allows people to communicate with a 3-D display through simple gestures – without touching it and without 3-D glasses or a data glove."

Sci Fi becomes reality

"What until now has only been seen in science fiction films will be presented at CeBIT," adds the company's breathless press release.

iPoint 3D recognition device is around the size of a keyboard that features two built-in inexpensive FireWire cameras that can detect hands and fingers. It is suspended from the ceiling or integrated in a coffee table.

The company adds that "iPoint 3D can also be useful in a living room or office, or even in a hospital operating room, or as part of an interactive information system.

"Since the interaction is entirely contactless, the system is ideal for scenarios where contact between the user and the system is not possible or not allowed, such as in an operating room," says Paul Chojecki, a research scientist at the HHI, explaining the technology.

Uses in kitchens and offices

There are multiple other domestic applications that the tech might be used for.

Chojecki adds that, for example, "Someone kneading pastry in the kitchen, whose hands are covered in dough, can turn down the boiling potatoes by waving a finger without leaving sticky marks on the stove.

"In an office, for example, an architect can peruse the latest set of construction drawings and view them from all angles by gesture control. The finger is the remote control of the future."

TechRadar will be on hand to get a demo of iPoint 3D at CeBIT, which takes place in Hanover from March 3-8.

Adam Hartley