Gesture-controlled TVs demoed at IFA

Toshiba could soon be integrating voice and gesture control into its TVs
Toshiba could soon be integrating voice and gesture control into its TVs

It's not just imminently released bits of kit that are getting an airing at Berlin's IFA this year, but also innovations that could change how we interact with technology.

A research team powered by Toshiba has been previewing some new technological advances that will have you waving your hands, quite literally, in excitement.

Taking a leaf out of the gesture control found on Toshiba's latest range of laptops, the boffins that the Cambridge Research Laboratory are showcasing gesture-based interfaces for flat panels at IFA.

Any user of the new flat screen technology will be able to use their hands to control an on-screen cursor. The technology is being touted for things like information kiosks and interactive displays in shop windows.

The system works by having a single camera mounted on top of the display. At the moment, research is going into how to get multiple users to interact with the TVs.

Voice-controls for the car

In the ultimate hands-free add-on to your car, Cambridge Research Laboratory is also working on an audio activated radio for cars.

The speech technology is being trialled at IFA, where users will be able to see the tech integrated into a Bluetooth hands-free headset.

Users of the headset will be able to bark orders into it and have things like your mobile phone and MP3 player respond. The technology also allows speech-to-tect recognition, so you may soon be able to send a text by just speaking to your phone.

The demo in Berlin will also show how you can go through you phone's contacts, simply by speaking the name of who you want to call and pick a song from an MP3 player by muttering its title.

If successful, the technology could also be implemented into TV sets, so that users can simply ask to see 'Coronation Street' and the television will obey.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.