The mouse has been a primary interaction tool for computers for close to three decades now, but manufacturers are still looking for other ways consumers can interact with their devices. The touchscreen revolution in the industry over the past six years has reinvigorated the search for new interactive technologies, and manufacturers are now looking to movies such as Minority Report and Iron Man as inspiration.
As gesture-based controls begin to make their way into smartphones and tablets, market research firm NPD DisplaySearch is predicting a quick rise for such technologies in the coming years. The firm forecasts that around 330 million gesture-enabled devices will ship in 2015. This represents around a 70% year-over-year increase from the firm's predicted shipments in 2014.
Simple gesture controls can already be found in some high-end smartphones, and smart TVs from manufacturers such as Samsung already feature the technology. Microsoft has made gesture control a primary feature of its new Xbox One video game console through its Kinect interface.
DisplaySearch sees gesture control coming to even more devices over the next few years, including PCs and other devices with screens large enough to make touch-based controls impractical. Even cars may eventually get some form of the technology within the next decade. The smartphone market, however, is predicted to abandon gesture control in the near future.
“While touch screens have been successfully adopted as a key user interface for smartphones, mobile PCs, and other mobile devices, larger smart devices are not touch-screen suitable,” said Calvin Hsieh, research director at DisplaySearch. “Gesture sensing is the next critical user interface trend, designed to improve the usefulness of, and user experience on, smart TVs and other large smart devices.”