Gesture Control & how you can get started…

Anupama Nair
4 min readOct 22, 2019

Let’s talk about Gesture Control!

You’ve seen it pretty much plastered all over the news for the last couple of months.

Every now and then something really cool comes up (Project Soli or even Samsungs Gesture Recognition Enabled Phones) and we talk about gesture technology until the buzz lasts.

What is Gesture Control?

Gesture Control is defined as the interpretation of human gestures via mathematical algorithms, most commonly from the hands. Put simply, gesture control is the ability to translate natural “gestures” into actionable commands for technology.

But wait… Is gesture control all buzz and no point?
Well, it is a lot of buzz & rightfully so. Why? Because the applications of this technology are unending.
And secondly, Well, that one’s obvious, IT’S COOL!

Yup! You know it! Gesture control lets you wave your hands around and use these motions to interact with the technology that surrounds you.

This could be anything from an IronMan like Gesture controlled smartboard or a “Harry Potter-esque” Gesture Controlled Toys. The spectrum of these gestures is so broad, you can barely put it in order. From Swishing your “wand” toy to turn on your television to using small movements of your hand to control toy cars (Pretty sure you’ve seen the toy Car that’s been doing the rounds).

Now wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of buying a device that comes with a gesture controller, you could go out and get a gesture controller that could work with anything? And when I say anything, I mean software & games loaded up on your computers or even hardware such as robotic arms, drones, toy cars and so on.

Well, it is possible! And here are a few controllers you could take a look at.

Leap Motion Controller

This nifty little gadget is super easy to use and will work with any computer easily. It’s as easy as plug-and-play for the most part.

The device works when you place your hand over it & move it around. It’s that simple. Using the Leap Motion Controller, you can recreate your hands in VR environments. They have an extremely stable & natural feel to it. You could even plug the device onto your VR Headsets and use them in the Virtual world.

There is, however, one small drawback. The leap motion controller needs to be plugged into a processor on the outside. This means that you can not move it around as you would, a wireless controller. Though small, this may seem like a significant setback to a lot of users. Also, we seem to be missing haptic feedback which is pretty much imperative when we’re talking about immersive experiences.

Here’s a link to their website.

Myo Armband

Here’s a device that looks like it was ripped out of a sci-fi movie. This is easily one of the coolest things I’ve seen. The band is named after the Greek word for muscle. Why? Because it works by sensing the movements of your muscles underneath the band & converting it into gestures which are then used to take actions on digital devices.

Sounds complicated? It’s really not!

You slip it on your arm & wave your hands around and Voila! Gesture Control!

The Myo Armband is also wireless, which is convenient. It runs on Bluetooth. But it does require external processing for the gestures. There is an additional problem that some users have faced, that if you are on the weaker side, your muscle movements may not be so easy for the device to pick up. Unfortunately, the company ( Thalmic labs) has decided to stop supporting the device.

Kai Gesture Controller

This device has been around for about a year now & is one of the easiest to use. The device itself is a tiny band of sorts that you wear on your palm. It has sensors on one side that can identify the position of each of your fingers.

The device is light and comfortable to wear for long durations. This too is wireless. It communicates using Bluetooth 5.0 & can get you through 8 hours of work without a hassle. It works well with the computer & I’ve seen a couple of people use it with drones & robotic arms and such. The device also features haptic feedback that you can customize based on the environment you’re using it in. The Kai also takes the cake when it comes to quick service & support.

Here’s a link to their website.

In conclusion, I’d like to say that gesture technology is the way to go. All three devices are winners & they’re all ahead of the curve in terms of technology. The future is already here & we can get right on it. I’ve just given you three devices that you could pick from so you can hop on the train & get to ‘gesture control’ before it’s too crowded.