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A webcam-like device could be set up in a room opposite your home theater system, pointed towards the home theater system. This device watches for laser gestures that you draw on the wall with a laser pointer. When the device recognizes a gesture, it then emits the corresponding infrared signal to
control your home theater devices.
In programming mode, the webcam device could be shown a gesture, then the device could wait for you to send the matching signal using the original remote control.
Laser pointers are cheap. You can buy a dozen of them for the price of a mediocre universal remote. Buy a dozen at a time. If you lose one, you pull another one out of the drawer.
Laser pointer + mouse [snoyes, Mar 05 2009]
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||Laser pointers are cheap, but this thing needs a webcam-like device that can recognize patterns. Would that not be spendy? Plus you would need to keep the laser pattern area fairly high on the wall or it will be destroyed by your pug when he sees that glowing red dot zipping around.
||If we're using a web cam as a receiver, why do we need a laser pointer at all? Just have the camera watch your hand gestures (or wave a specially painted stick or something).
||// Would that not be spendy? //
||Not really. You can use an off-the-shelf webcam (though
probably not the very cheapest models) and do the
processing on your existing HTPC.
||The camera can have an optical filter that matches the
wavelength of the laser
pointer, to eliminate most interference. It doesn't have to
be a scientific-grade one,
so it can be cheap, probably less than a dollar per unit in
||// why do we need a laser pointer at all? Just have the
camera watch your hand
||Detecting and classifying motions of a single bright dot is
easier than detecting and
classifying motions of a human body.
||// or wave a specially painted stick or something //
||A stick with a glowing ball on the end would be practical.
That's what PlayStation
Move uses. Then you can have multiple units being
tracked simultaneously, which is
useful for gaming but probably not for remote control