Keyboards, mice, and touch screens all have their uses but have distinct limitations. They’re not particularly good for interacting with 3-D objects, such as those found in virtual reality or design programs. A company called Gest thinks its device, which slides onto the back of your hands and fingers to track their movements, provides a more natural and useful alternative.
Consumer versions of motion control gloves — primarily associated with the much-maligned Nintendo Power Glove — have never quite caught on. In theory, they're supposed to combine the fine-grained control that hand-tracking cameras can provide with the reliability of physical controllers like the Oculus Touch. In practice, they can be bulky and constricting, and it's hard to make a truly "one size fits all" option. Various companies are trying to build workable versions — like the Manus, a soft glove fitted with flex and motion sensors. Few, however, seem as potentially practical as Gest.
So much about computers has changed over the years: processors and computing power have grown, and so have screens, mice, and our other gadgets and accessories. Yet, despite all these advances and changes, most of us still use keyboards that look nearly identical to the ones people were using two decades ago. Looking at the way keyboards have lagged behind, the startup team behind Gest decided to put control into the hands of the user — literally.
The Gest (a contraction of the word “gesture”) lets you control your device by waving around your fingers and waving your hand around. Its unique form factor lets it detect every flick, point, twist, grab or flick.
There is a new campaign on Kickstarter that aims to put a virtual keyboard in the hands of its potential users. With that in mind, Gest has come up with a unique device made of wires that are essentially clipped onto the user's fingers.
There have been numerous attempts over the years to break the decades-long stranglehold the keyboard and mouse have had on the human-to-computer interface by providing some semblance of Minority Report-like gesture control. Apotact Labs recently joined the fray with a four-finger glove-like design called Gest that allows you to control your computer and your mobile devices with your hands.
Gest lets users workers with their hands in a more intuitive way. It can switch between apps just by twitching a finger, or point the screen to move the mouse around. It’s extremely versatile, with programmable custom gestures for every possible action. It’s a new way of working with computers.
When you are sitting in the office using your computer, a mouse and keyboard is the ideal interface for most of us. When you are out traveling and try to work from a tablet or smartphone, a mouse and keyboard aren't ideal. This is where the Gest comes in; this device is a glove-like wearable that you place on your hand.
Pfister isn't the first to explore the concept of gesture controls. Gest follows products like Manus, a glove designed primarily to improve interactions in virtual reality, and Elon Musk, SpaceX, and Leap Motion's completely accessory-free controls. But Gest appears to be the most practical and versatile option yet.
A new Kickstarter campaign wants to put a virtual keyboard on your hands via a collection of wires that clip onto your fingers.