In the past few weeks, we have heard a lot of talk about what iPhone 5 will and won’t offer. Regardless of the features Apple adds to iPhone 5, it will still be a physical device that you will have to interact with using your hands (or a stylus). Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany plans to change all that. It has tested an invisible iPhone prototype that lets users interact with their phone on their hand (without having to hold it).
So all you have to do here is hold your hand out and move your finger around just as you would when actually holding your phone. The movement is communicated to your phone. The current prototype is not exactly too advanced. For this to work, you need a depth-sensitive camera above you (to pick out your moves). But the team plans to work on a wearable camera to make this concept more usable.
We have seen similar types of projects in the past but unlike most of them, you won’t have to learn a new set of gestures to take advantage of this.
It’s a little bit like learning to touch type on a keyboard, but without any formal system or the benefit of the feel of the keys… it’s possible that voice control could serve the same purpose, but the imaginary approach would work in noisy locations and is much more subtle than announcing, “iPhone, open my e-mail.”
says Daniel Vogel, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo. Just imagine what Apple could have done had it acquired the Kinect technology.