GestureTek: motion control for all phones

Accelerometer-style games now coming to a cameraphone near you
Accelerometer-style games now coming to a cameraphone near you

More pre-Mobile World Congress news, this time from GestureTek Mobile, which claims it can now bring gesture-controlled games to all mobile phones, with or without accelerometers.

Apparently, GestureTek Mobile's EyeMobile engine uses a mobile's existing camera to measure movement of the phone or user.

This allows users to control all functions and applications of their mobile device without touching buttons or the screen, including menu selection, zooming, shuffling MP3 playlists, web browsing, map navigation, text messaging, games and more.

Wave your hands in the air

GestureTek will be launching a software upgrade to its Java-based mobile sensor API, enabling developers to create motion control games for handsets with or without a built-in accelerometer.

"EyeMobile is software-based, and can be easily integrated into any existing camera-enabled handset and its applications," says Francis MacDougall, GestureTek's Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer.

"EyeMobile requires a small memory and processor footprint, can be delivered over the air and is extremely cost-competitive compared to touchscreen systems. It is compatible with the majority of the world's mobile phones: those without built-in accelerometers, and easily integrated into hardware-based touchscreen systems, like the iPhone."

Japanese joy

Handsets already embedded with EyeMobile optical tracking include the DoCoMo 904i, 905i, 906i and 706i series in Japan, with models from Sharp, NEC, Fujitsu, Panasonic and Sony Ericsson.

Recent cameraphones supporting the Brew, Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms should also work.

GestureTek is showing off its kit at MWC in Barcelona - we'll take a swing by the stand to see how it shapes up.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.