Hands off - using gestures to control smart devices
Billions of connected devices have put a world of information and possibility at people’s fingertips. But what if the power to engage more instinctively with this technology was also in our hands? A French start-up believes it will be easier for users to integrate smart devices into their life if they can use natural gestures to control them. That’s why it has created Bixi, a touch-free and portable controller, to facilitate this new level of interaction.
Bixi by Bluemint Labs communicates with other smart devices, applications and smart objects. It recognizes intuitive hand movements, such as waves and half-waves, and translates them into instructions. For example, if someone is cooking using a recipe they’ve found online, there is no need to clean their hands before scrolling down to the next step on their device. Bixi’s gesture sensing technology will respond to the cook’s motions so they can unlock the device and select the appropriate page.
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The user can control multiple devices with the same Bixi. For example, the volume of wireless speakers could be adjusted and smart lighting set up to create the right ambience in a room. It connects with the smart devices that are within range using Bluetooth low energy and is always switched on. Bixi works across all operating systems and uses optical sensors to recognize ten natural gestures, which the company believes is enough to help make people’s connected life easier. An ultra-low power STM32L4 series SoC enabled by an Arm® Cortex®-M4 processor, and intelligent system-level power management, enable Bixi to run for several weeks before the battery needs to be recharged.
Vijayaraghavan Narayanan, CEO and Founder of Bixi explained in an interview with Forbes: “For the end consumer to be interested in gesture control, it has to transcend today’s status of being a technological gimmick to being something very intuitive that actually solves a need which can’t be solved by other means.”