Is your hand the TV remote of the future?

Remote control
Could lost remotes become a problem of the past?

Forget USB fingers; the TV remote of the future will be your hand. That's according to Silicon Valley-based tech company, GestureTek, which is looking to replace the classic TV remote control with a far more futuristic solution.

Using a depth camera mounted below the TV screen, GestureTek's remote-less TV prototype works by tracking your hand motions and translating them into on-screen instructions. Waving left and right would navigate from side to side, for example.

Hitachi is just one manufacturer that's been researching how to merge its software with the camera-enabled gesture-recognition tech.

Expect bumped-up television prices, and increased reports of domestic violence ("I was just trying to change the channel, honest!").

Mow your lawn with a Wiimote

Across the pond, scientists at the University of Southern Denmark have pushed the concept somewhat further into the realms of weird – unveiling a robot lawnmower controlled by a Nintendo Wii remote, this week.

Intended to make "grass-cutting more efficient", the Wiimote communicates with the mower via Bluetooth and a built-in "computer and robotics module". Simply tilt the controller forward to drive forward, and backwards to reverse. The best bit? If boredom strikes, stick it on automatic and watch it work for you.

Speech-controlled bin

Coincidentally, the invention of a new speech-controlled bin means now you don't even have to get up to get rid of rubbish: just call, and it'll come.

Does this herald a new age for garbage disposal? Doubtful – the device only works along a pre-determined route (and you have to talk to it in Hebrew, for some reason) – but it's certainly a cheaper alternative than a dog.

Forget hover boards - power-boards are the future

In other news, off-road power-board Scarpar has moved from concept to engineering stage. Less complicated and expensive to manufacture than a hoverboard, this is the future of powersports for board-riders. Check out the video.

A one-finned green sea turtle, Alison, has finally learnt to swim in a straight line – with the help of a custom-made "ninja" suit. Holding a carbon-fibre fin in place on the turtle's back as a rudder, the neoprene suite allows her to propel forwards with her sole fin.

Prior to this, Allison, who lost three of her fins previously, was only able to swim in tight circles, USA Today reports.

And finally…

If you were planning on using iTunes for the "design, manufacture or production of missiles, or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons", think again. According to the licence agreement, users are not permitted to use the software for any of the above, it came to light this week. Dammit!


Like this? Check out Segway's new PUMA takes on Sinclair C5

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Julia Sagar
Content director, special projects

Julia specialises in ecommerce at Future. For the last four years, she’s split her time between leading TechRadar’s crack team of deal editors - covering all the biggest sales of the year including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day - and helping the audiences of Future’s consumer tech and lifestyle brands (TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, Marie Claire, Woman & Home and more) find the best products and services for their needs and budget.

A former editor of global design website Creative Bloq, she has over 15 years’ experience in online and print journalism, and was part of the team that launched TechRadar way back in the day. When she isn't reviewing mattresses (she’s tested more than she cares to remember), or sharing tips on how to save money in the latest sales, she can usually be found writing about anything from green energy to graphic design.