Kinect for the Xbox 360 opened the doors to innovative ways users could interact with devices. It has been used to control robots, create cool effects, and encouraged the creation of indie games. With the confirmation that Kinect is coming to Windows, PC users can re-envision the way we interact with our computers. While this is a blessing to PC-based hackers and consumers, would Microsoft ever license the technology to Apple? Probably not. There are rumors that Apple’s hush-hush iTV will boast Kinect-like features, but until then, we would be merely speculating. In the meantime, the team over at Bot Square Inc. has created, Flutter, an application that integrates gesture control into OS X computers.
If you’ve had moments where you’ve positioned your laptop a leg’s distance away and wished that you could just pause the music or movie without having to sit up, you’re a lazy individual. But we would be lying if we denied similar bouts of slothfulness. At the least, the founders of Flutter can relate. The company’s website prominently clues us into the fact that, ironically, their laziness was the motivation for building Flutter:
“We hated using the keyboard and mouse for controlling music in the background or watching movies on our computers from a few feet away. So we decided to solve this problem by using hand gestures to control music and videos via the built-in webcam in your computer.”
The app works by utilizing the Mac’s built-in iSight webcam. The current alpha version of the application will only allow you to control the basic “stop” and “play” functions for music players like iTunes and Spotify, simply by displaying the palm of your hand. We’ve found it also works with iTune’s video playback. Note that to get the best results, you should extend both your palms and fingers, and stand one to six feet away.
While the app is limited in its gestures and functionality right now, Flutter is in its mere alpha stages. Later iterations will allow users to watch movies the way movies were meant to be watched. According to Flutter, YouTube and Netflix are the next applications in line that Flutter will be compatible with.
For those of you worried that Flutter could be monitoring you, you have nothing to worry about. Flutter, on Twitter, assuaged a user’s concern:
Currently the application is made only available for Mac users, although when attempting to download the app on a PC, we were told that Flutter, “will be available for your platform soon.” Fortunately, it’s made available as a free download, but you won’t find it on iTunes just yet. If you’re interested in signing up for their updates and, as a Mac user, would like to test out the application, you can head over to Flutter.io.
Let us know how you like the app in the comments below.