If you ever watched "Minority Report" you most likely noticed Tom Cruise's character controlling a computer by simply moving his hands in front of the monitor. Recently scientists announced they managed to create an image sensor that would allow consumers to interact with various devices a similar way.
It is worth mentioning that image sensors represent computers chips incorporated in digital cameras, the chips being sensitive to the light. Common sensors see and record 2D images, unlike the new generation sensors, which are able to see in 3D. Besides recording the picture, these sensors can also record the distance from the camera. Engineers believe that their latest invention could be used in various ways. For example, they could track movements throughout 3D space and see pictures as 3D objects.
It is most likely that this latest invention could be widely used in video games. The software giant, Microsoft, already made a step towards the no-touch interface with its Project Natal. Canestra is a company that in May presented a somewhat similar technology, allowing users to change channels and adjust the volume on their TV by simply waving their hands. According to Jim Spare, Canesta's CEO, if a standard Webcam is replaced with a three-dimensional sensor, users will have the ability to control their computers by moving their hands in front of it. In addition, the latest invention could be used in smartphones, transforming the touch-screen technology into a no-touch one.
It is worth mentioning that Canesta is a company that develops 3D image sensors and it boasts partnerships with such giants as Honda and Hitachi. Mr. Spare believes that the company's invention could become available for anyone. It managed to create a sensor built on only one CMOS microchip. Thus the company will be able to start mass production of its latest invention and at a relatively low cost. Consumer gadgets that will include Canesta'a sensors will be available in 2010.
Outside and Inside Cars
The 3D sensors could replace ultrasonic sensors that some carmakers place in the rear bumpers to signal drivers when they are close to hitting an object or a person. Canesta also believes that the sensors could be place inside a vehicle, replacing weight detectors when identifying whether a child is in a seat and if an air bag should deploy. Besides, the sensors could detect when there's someone in the vehicle when they aren't supposed to be. link....