iPhone should steal these hands-free gestures from LG

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LG G8ThinQ
The LG G8ThinQ totally “borrowed” its look from the iPhone. The iPhone should borrow its gesture control system.
Photo: LG

The just-announced LG G8 ThinQ packs a forward-facing sensor that allows users to control some of the phone’s functions with hand gestures, with no need to touch the screen.

The sensors used by the iPhone for Face ID should be able to duplicate this functionality. And that, in turn could simplify use of the device.

Scan your hand

The G8 ThinQ comes with an infrared time-of-flight sensor that it uses to sense hand gestures. LG calls this system Air Motion.

“Without touching the phone — useful especially when driving — users can answer or end calls, take screenshots, switch between applications or adjust the volume. Controlling the LG G8 ThinQ is as simple as waving a hand or pinching the air, increasing convenience for active consumers when wearing gloves or swimming,” LG said in a statement.

The phone uses this same sensor for LG’s Hand ID. This new biometric tech scans the pattern of veins in a user’s palm as a method of identification.

iPhone could do this

The TrueDepth Camera used in all the 2018 iPhone models could duplicate this hands-free gesture system.

True, users can do any of the actions supported by Air Motion by touches to the iOS unlock screen. But as LG pointed out, its system might be easier when driving. It certainly would prove more useful when wearing gloves.

That said, it’s possible Apple already considered the possibilities of hand gestures and rejected the tech. The LG G8 ThinQ, unveiled Sunday ahead of the big Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, hasn’t been released yet, so it’s not yet clear whether its Air Motion system is practical in everyday use.

Don’t miss our recent article on how gesture controls could replace 3D Touch and bring multi-touch to the Mac.