A study released by Juniper Research, a digital and online research firm, has predicted that in four years time, devices that use motion and gesture control will have increased by 280% to reach 492 million devices. Currently, there are 168 million such devices and they include virtual reality gear and wearables.
Reluctance in adoption
The widespread adoption of motion and gesture-control technologies will not be automatic however, and will not extend to every computing device. For instance, only five percent of devices such as personal computers, tablets, and smartphones will feature a motion-sensing or a gesture-sensing interface. But for products such as VR headsets, motion-tracking and gesture-tracking remain the primary ways of interaction. This leaves wearable devices such as glasses and smart watches, which are an emerging area of applying and experimenting with gesture-sensing and motion-sensing technology. Because of the small surfaces, which a user has to interact with them, motion-tracking and gesture-control can greatly improve their usability.
The report’s author noted that wearables and virtual reality gadgets had given a glimpse of how new and fresh ways could be harnessed with regards to human interaction with technology. Thus, for a wider adoption of gesture-control and motion-tracking technologies, especially in computers, out-of-the-box ideas would be needed.
Already some companies are leading the pack in this area. Leap Motion, for instance, has developed an external device that uses gesture-tracking to execute commands on a computer without the need for a mouse or a keyboard.
But while there have been incremental changes in the past, the author states that these are not enough. Citing the case of the Xbox Kinect, which introduced a fresh way of human-computer interaction, the author says this only serves the purpose of extending functionalities but is not so revolutionary as to change the scene in a major way. The author stresses that what is needed is a paradigm shift. In the meantime, users will continue to use the mouse and the keyboard as primary means by which they interact with their computers, and touch screen to interact with their smartphones.