Philips waves farewell to point-and-press remote controls
Gadget uses gestures instead
The traditional infra-red remote control is dead. Long live, Philips’ latest spin on channel-switching technology - uWand.
Described as a “remote touch pointer”, uWand allows couch potatoes to control the telly using physical gestures.
Philips' uWand: button pushes out, gestures in
Inside uWand is a small camera that picks up signals from beacons integrated into the controlled device, such as a TV. A Wii-style sensor bar can also be connected to your old, pre-uWand TV, Philips said.
Button pushes and the controller’s coordinates are then sent by radio wave to the target device, which converts the gesture into an action, such as channel selection or volume adjustment.
Navin Natoewal, General Manager for uWand at Philips, said: “The traditional remote control, with its 50 or more buttons, simply isn’t keeping pace with modern interactive television.”
uWand could enable the user to ‘flick’ though content “as if they were actually touching them”, Philips claimed.
Fewer buttons, but you'll still lose it down the sofa
The electronics giant reckons that its uWand could be used to control set-top boxes, multi-media PCs and in-home electronic gizmos – though hopefully not automatic bread knives.
Philips plans to demo the uWand alongside a Widget Channel Framework from Intel – essentially a platform bringing web services and applications onto a TV – at the IBC show in Amsterdam next week. ®
So, I'm lying in bed, waiting to fall asleep while watching TV, the loud adverts come on and instead of just pressing the volume button of the remote that's sitting in my hand (barely using any effort at all), I've got to start waving this thing around in the air like an idiot? Oh yeah, that will really help me fall asleep!!!
A solution in search of a problem
I can't think of anyone who has said they wish they didn't have all these buttons on their remote.
As it is you will only typically use a handful of those buttons.
In a later upgrade they will have you saying incantations while making the gestures.
Since it's such a good idea...
Boffins at BMW have announced a new Sports Series Model in which the bulky steering wheel has been replaced with biometric gloves. The driver simply gestures a command, and the BMW responds immediately. Orville Nerddorffer, head of the new biometric steering project at BMW, has not made any press releases since the "incident" last April.
Preliminary tests of the new BMW navigation system had halted in April due to an accident. A 17 year old boy from New Westshire had entered the test area, and was making rude gestures toward the test car driver. The driver playfully flipped the bird back to the youth, when the BMW interpreted the gesture incorrectly, and immediately ran over the young man. His name was not released, at the family's request.
After reconstructing the incident, the BMW investigation revealed the problem was in the programming. The software programming team had inserted additional code into the system's gesture response system during virtual software testing, as a "fun deathrace arcade game response module for killing virtual pedestrians GTA-style. It was meant to be removed before the software was installed in the real vehicles". The test car driver, Alex "Toast" Crutchfield, was cleared of all responsibility in the recent tragedy.
Hey, it could happen !
Next on the news, a local cigar store admits having Prince Albert in a can, and refuses to let him out. Story at 11.
Use the Force, Luke
You don't need to see this channel. This isn't the show you're looking for.
What about those who injure themselves using it?
Will they be called "Philtards"?