Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Webcam TV Remote

The remoteless remote...
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(+6, -1)
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Ok... I don't know if any of you have played the PC game Black and White, but the menuless command system gave me an idea for a replacement for the remote control. I appreciate there have been a lot of Remote Control bakery products, but I haven't been able to find one along these lines, on here or on Google.

A small webcam would be fitted to the top of the television, with a fisheye lens giving it as wide a view around the room as the viewer would be able to see the screen from. To activate the remote control function, the user should extend his index finger, and rotate it in a clockwise direction. This would get the "attention" of the camera, which would concentrate on the persons fingertip. Normal activity wouldn't activate this, as its unlikely you would be rotating your finger in this fashion (unless unsure what to get from a pizza menu.)

To change channels up, rock your finger to the right, and return to vertical, once for each channel. To change channels down... erm do the same to the left. To scan multiple channels, rock to the right and hold, which after a few moments would activate a left and right activated channel counter (rather than flick through each channel at great speed.)

To change volume up and down, point the finger directly at the camera for a couple of seconds to engage the volume change function, and move up and down.

To engage more complex menu options, curl finger twice like a double click, and use same pointing mechanism to select items.

When you are finished selecting, simply close your palm to leave menus... or dont move for a few seconds.

Silent, and usable from any point in the room, including lieing down - as long as you moved in relation to the horizontal.

Go on.. tell me its baked, or cut me to shreds.. the only similar technology to this I can think of, is the home automation system that reads peoples locations in their front room, and works out who they are.

Danzarak, Feb 28 2002

Gesture Recognition http://research.mic...ure_recognition.htm
Okay, so it's not a TV remote they're working on--but it could be. [bristolz, Feb 28 2002]

MIT's Gesture and Narrative Language Group http://www.media.mit.edu/groups/gn/
This would be their domain - there research is definitely worth a read. [Aristotle, Feb 28 2002]

TrackIR camera http://www.dansdata.com/trackir.htm
Does something sort of like the original idea, for computers. Works as a mouse, could probably be modified to do this... [StarChaser, Feb 28 2002]

Collaborative Composition Dance Box http://www.halfbake...ition_20Dance_20Box
Couch-potato? No! Get up and move. [waugsqueke, Mar 01 2002]

Gesture UI device http://www.dato.com/main.html
Multi-Point TouchPad gesture recog system intended for animators and multi-media apps. Interesting because the system attempts to reconstruct phonyms--the sound pieces that make up language--from the gesture input. [bristolz, Mar 01 2002]

MIRALab http://miralabwww.unige.ch/
One of the VR, immersion and human interaction research leaders. [Aristotle, Mar 02 2002]

A DECADE LATER and look how far we have come A game recognizes body movement within thousands of an inch http://www.analogx.com
CTRL+F type cole + enter you will see my prior post. Look how far we have come. Now there is a game for a few hundred dollars I think its Wii (pronounced WE or Y) it was on demo at a local store Brands Mart USA and me and another patron started moving and it recognized our bodies and allowed us to play a game nothing in our hands or on our body. It sure didn't take long. That million dollar technology but Japan and China have mass produced and reduced so many things its perplexing. Look at the IPOD Touch It was so small they had to make a bigger version called the Apple IPAD I think it had a 7 or 10 inch screen. What a trip we were all on the right track and nearly ahead of our time. The future looks so onteresting. Netflix will soon look prehistoric. ---Coleygross Feb 3 2011 (9 years later) Kudos to the site owner [coleygross, Mar 03 2011]


       Thanks bristolz, that proves its possible - I thought it must be, it cant be that bizarre a technology leap.
Danzarak, Feb 28 2002

       At a face and gesture recognition conference I attended two years ago I saw a demonstration of gesture recognition used to control a video camera. Attendees also demonstrated a system to control cranes by the gestures used to communicate with crane controllers, way to read sign language (and respond in kind through 3D) and MIT's Gesture and Narrative Language group showed their work in progress.   

       So they are getting there with these concepts.
Aristotle, Feb 28 2002

       So is it a good idea or just a possible one...?
Danzarak, Feb 28 2002

       You appear to be thinking in terms of going through conventional user interface menus, which are OK but might not be the correct metaphor. If you are going to introduce a webcam and some AI software I would be inclined to recommend you considered simple actions from common gestures or facial expressions. If you add a microphone you could say numbers or be able to say additional phrases like "Channel Abort" and "Argh, not Jamie Oliver again."   

       However saying that some gamers might enjoy controlling their TVs by obscure gestures and try to look for "easter egg" actions that trigger hidden treats.
Aristotle, Feb 28 2002

       I think moving your finger simply is a pretty basic action... my second idea (immediately after posting of course) was to have it activated by a finger click, or some such action, and pop up a traditional mouse pointer... this would then be controlled by normal finger movement. moving to the edge of the screen would extrude start menus, and all your options would be withing these. Click as you would on a mouse (perhaps a little more accented) and wave the hand to leave the selection screen. The hand movements I originally put though wre designed to be minimal, so that you didnt have to navigate at all to do the simplest TV actions, channel changing and volume changing.
Danzarak, Feb 28 2002

       It all depends on how you interact with your TV but there could be a basic set of exaggerated commands people might want to control with basic gestures. Here are some examples:   

       Thumb down: go to the next channel in my set of favourites.
Mime eating popcorn: go straight to my movie channel.
Cover ears: turn the sound down.
Hand cupped behind ear: turn the sound up.
Finger to lips: cut the sound, I'm watching Baywatch!
Aristotle, Feb 28 2002

       A great idea, but surely there are better uses for this technology. Conducting virtual orchestras, for one.
waugsqueke, Feb 28 2002

       . . . or learning sign language.
bristolz, Feb 28 2002

       Croissant... I like the way this idea connects to the concept of magic. Wave your arms in arcane gestures, and voices start to speak to you out of thin air, and a box in the corner starts to emit blue light...
herilane, Feb 28 2002

       herilane - my thoughts exactly. I've been thinking for a while now that virtual reality -- should it ever be more than a pipe dream -- will make it possible for fiction-style magic to be meaningful and useful.
quarterbaker, Feb 28 2002

       quaterbaker, herliane: The idea of magic being performed by virtual reality was explored in the SF book "Dream Park", where players performed in a VR fantasy role-playing game to provide mass entertainment.   

       To see how far people have gotten to implement this in reality you can not do much better than to start by looking at the MIRALab site (see link). They demonstrate their work through public performances.
Aristotle, Mar 02 2002

       How would you focus on said person or said persons hand or hands. I would simply use speech recognition. I.E. [TV ON} {CHANNEL 4} [ UP ONE] [DOWN ONE] [JUMP to 45} [LOWER VOLUME] {SETUP MENU] [TV OFF]. A microphone would be omni directional so one could switch to their soap opera while washing dishes or switch to the sports channel while popping the top on a cold budwiser in front of the fridgerator in the kitchen. So that the tv would not come on in the middle of night before saying [TV OFF] say [sensitivity low]. I think a microphone and speech recognition chip would be much cheaper and effective. koolwebs@bellsouth.net
coleygross, Mar 02 2002

       Aristotle: The magic/VR thing goes at least as far back as Vinge's "True Names" (now in print again), published in 1981.
wiml, Mar 03 2002

       Voice based control would be more reliable but gesture based control is possible, if you have access to the correct body of research and are realistic about what you want to achieve. There is, for example, a kick boxing Playstation control on the market that translates gross body actions into the 4 PS button.   

       With current systems you could manage some kind of gesture control as long as you avoid the current problems experienced by sign language interpretion work. I think, for example, it would be fun to pick up semaphore flags to change channel or specify a number or letter.   

       wiml: Dream Park by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes was published in 1981 as well.
Aristotle, Mar 03 2002

       Cheaper and smaller, most likely.
StarChaser, Mar 11 2002

       BTW Aristotle what do you think about the W i i game pronounced WE or Y. Talk about recognizing body movement. Who would have ever dreamed such incredible technology would sell for a few hundred dollars. Give it 3 to 5 more years and you will see similar recognition for $19.95 at your local Walmart store.   

       Smaller is not always better.   

       Look how Apple with the IPOD touch no doubt they decided it was a great invention or creation but the screen was to small.   

       What did they do, they made a near carbon copy but with more than double the screen size.   

       koolwebs@bellsouth.net coleygross
coleygross, Mar 03 2011


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