Generally, the best ideas solve complex problems in the simplest of ways. Gesture-based interfaces, while simple and easy to use, have not solved complex problems traditionally. While Kinect may help to get people off the couch and moving around more, the true value is in the entertainment, making that solution a secondary outcome. But gesture-based interfaces are now taking steps into areas where the technology is a primary solution, amplifying the current and future benefits of the technology.
Japanese young ladies enjoy decorating images of themselves with letters, characters and other embellishments. This is known as the cultural Japanese trend of “purikura.” While there were no existing issues with the trend as it was, a new service called Povie improved upon the experience using gesture-based technology. The service allows users to adorn 15-second video clips of themselves with various picture frames and other effects with the wave of a hand, bringing a fresh take to this existing trend.
Gilt Groupe has also created Gilt Taste, a site dedicated to showcasing and selling artisan foods. An iPad application is also being developed that utilizes gestures to improve upon the user experience. The app is planned to show recipes for foodies to reference as they cook using ingredients purchased from or similar to those on Gilt Taste. The gesture-based prototype for the app will allow users to spare their screens from dirty fingers by allowing the camera to sense when hand motions are prompting a new screen.
Finally, Microsoft’s NUads offering is the latest superstar in this realm. This technology has solved the largest problem of the bunch: lack of interactivity on TV. Past attempts to achieve this interactivity have fallen flat due to awkward remote controls that don’t match the laid-back experience of watching shows on TV. Microsoft’s NUad technology will use Xbox Live and Kinect to allow users to speak to or wave at their television screens to share content to Twitter, request more information, locate nearby stores, schedule calendar reminders for upcoming shows and convey their preferences by activities such as voting. Microsoft is planning on launching these placements in spring 2012, exponentially increasing the interactivity of TV spots.
Gesture technology is solving problems, from small to large. As we move forward, marketers should look to use the technology in applications where gesture is more than just a novelty. Creative design should consider this new consumer behavior to create the best user experience possible. Finally, we may begin to see gesture-based interfaces moving outside of the home into such platforms as digital signage if cameras are integrated, opening new realms for advertisers to explore.
Emily Knab, 6.30.2011
Friday, 1 July 2011
Posted by Jon Barnard at 11:19