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Mauz transforms your smartphone into a lean, mean – and versatile – gesture control machine

mauzGesture control technology continues to gain traction thanks to our increasing comfort going without the mouse and keyboard. Touchscreens have taught us to do without and we’re getting more and more familiar with eschewing these accessories.

Technology like The Leap and Kinect (and the many apps leveraging it) continue to push our progress here by giving us motion-based interactions with our PCs and TVs – and now, a new product called Mauz we spotted at CES will transform your smartphone into a gesture-friendly tool.

Mauz is a dongle that plugs into your iPhone, and then launches its own app to make your smartphone an incredibly versatile device. You can connect it to your PC and use it as a trackpad, dragging your finger across the phone’s screen to control your PC. You can right click and left click – all from your smartphone. The idea is to evolve how we control our electronics, allowing users new, intuitive, natural ways to use applications like PhotoShop or Google Earth.

Replacing your traditional mouse with what essentially becomes a multi-function trackpad isn’t all Mauz does. Within the app, you can also decide to enable gesture control, so the dongle and app partner to work as a sensor and you can wave your hand over the smartphone to navigate and control your device. Creator Gilad Meiri says this is intended to “simulate a Kinect-like experience.”

There’s also its Wii-like functionality, where you can pick it up and use it to remote control your device by waving it around as need be.

Meiri says the team just launched a KickStarter campaign to gauge interest – which might be a good goal, given the fact that they’re trying to raise $150,000 toward Mauz’s development. Regardless of the crowdsourcing campaign, Meiri says he expects to offer a beta version of Mauz (which he currently calls a “production-ready prototype”) in March or April and release the first iteration in June. He tells us this is a consumer-facing product – it’s not exclusively being shopped around to OEMs.

“Cost is an issue that still needs to be resolved,” Meiri says, although he figures it will cost “between $60 and $70.”

This market continues to grow while simultaneously becoming more and more accessible to the average user – and the simplicity of Mauz is both ambitious and exciting. We’ll have to wait until spring and summer to see if Mauz breaks onto store shelves. 

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