How Apple could give the Mac, iPhone and iPad gesture controls … no hardware required

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You don't special hardware for laptop gestures. Photo: Gizmodo
You don't need special hardware for laptop gestures. Photo: Gizmodo

We’ve been waiting seemingly for years for the Mac to get gesture recognition. Accessories like the Leap Motion have tantalized us with the possibility of aftermarket solutions, while secret Apple patents have hinted at future Macs with Kinect-like possibilities. Heck, Apple even purchased the company that designed the Kinect’s technology back in 2013, yet we’ve still seen nothing.

Turns out we might not need to wait for Apple to release special hardware for a gesture-controlled Mac. By making use of a very simple phenomenon in physics, Apple could actually enable gesture control in the Mac, iPhone and iPad … no hardware required.

How to bring Kinect-like gesture control to your Apple TV

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Kinect-like gesture control comes to the Apple TV. Photo: Onecue
Kinect-like gesture control comes to the Apple TV. Photo: Onecue

We know that Apple is interested in giving the Apple TV Kinect-like motion sensing abilities — they bought the 3D motion tracking company behind the tech last year, after all — but who knows when, if ever, it will actually come to living rooms.

If you want to start waving your way through your Apple TV’s interface now, though, meet the Onecue. It’s a cool little gadget that grafts Kinect-like functionality into your home entertainment system.

Virtual reality is going to make everyone sick — including companies that dump billions into it

The awe you feel will be cut fairly short. Photo: Sergey Galyonkin/CC
The awe you feel will be cut fairly short. Photo: Sergey Galyonkin/CC

When my kids and I walked into a coffee shop one sunny day last month, we were greeted by a row of tables holding laptops with gaming demos.

My son gravitated toward the biggest display, a huge TV screen with a giant, face-obscuring set of goggles set in front of it. This was the Oculus Rift, the latest fad gaming device that places two stereoscopic images in front of your eyes to simulate virtual reality.

He slid the massive black eyewear onto his face, picked up the connected Xbox controller, and started moving his head around. The rest of us could see the game on the TV — an abstract shooting gallery in three dimensions, with my boy at the center, first-person style.

After about five minutes of waving his head around and pressing buttons on the controller, my son pushed the goggles up and off his head and said, “Dad, I think I’m going to be sick.”

Apple To Use PrimeSense Tech For Indoor Mapping?

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iOS 7 could soon have many of the capabilities of the Xbox 360 Kinect.
iOS 7 could soon have many of the capabilities of the Xbox 360 Kinect.

It’s the third most asked question next to “did I make the right choice of next generation iPad?” and “why is it so cold at the moment?” (I’m writing this post from England) — but what exactly does Apple plan to do with PrimeSense?

Having acquired the Israel-based 3D-motion tracking company behind the original Xbox Kinect for an estimated $360 million, most people assumed that Apple would use the technology to incorporate motion tech into its long-awaited television-based hardware.

According to Washington Post tech journalist Jessica Lessin, however, that’s not right at all.