Researchers control tablet with ‘kick gestures’ and a Kinect

kicking-gestures-research

If watching people speak to themselves on Bluetooth headsets wasn’t weird enough, now everyone may start kicking and flailing their legs around to control their smartphone or tablet. A group of researchers at the University of Bristol, UK and the University of Manitoba, Canada want to replace some touch actions on your phone with leg movements and kicks, reports New Scientist.

While there are a number of potential issues with this idea–especially for those who use their devices while walking–Sriram Subramanian, a lead on the project, describes some situations where kicking might be useful. “For example, a mother holding a baby or a shopper carrying bags may not be able to answer their call or skip to the next song on their phone without putting down the baby or the shopping bags,” he said. Of course, we’re not so sure a mother holding a baby should be fiddling with phones at all, let alone kicking her feet while she’s holding the infant.

Users could kick through screens for navigation or play games with kicking gesture technology.

To figure out if the concept would work, the team hooked up a Microsoft Kinect sensor to a tablet. From what they’ve gathered, it’s relatively easy for people to do 5 different kicking gestures, each separated by an angle of 24 degrees. It’s also possible for most people to accurately kick at two distinct speeds. The video below shows off the research done on the subject. 

Subramanian doesn’t believe that future devices will use the bulky Kinect setup that he’s using, but he believes that a lot of future shoes may come with built in accelerometers and be able to connect up with devices. 

What do you think? Would you ever kick your way through an iPhone? Could this technology actually be useful?

Wearables

Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Emerging Tech

The CRISPR baby saga continues as China confirms second gene-edited pregnancy

China’s official Xinhua news agency has confirmed that a second woman has become pregnant as part of a controversial experiment to create the world’s first genetically edited babies.
Mobile

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Product Review

Origin's Chronos PC is no looker, but it plays games with eye-popping detail

The Chronos is Origin’s smallest PC, but while it occupies less space than most A/V receivers, it delivers the power of a much larger desktop. Its dull exterior design does the system a disservice. Once you turn it on, you won’t be…
Computing

How good are you at spotting phishing scams? Take this quiz to find out

Are you able to discern between a legitimate email and one that's a scam designed to phish for your personal information? Google created an online quiz with tips to help you better understand phishing so you don't become a victim.
Gaming

Can't stand keyboard gaming on PC? Here's how to use a PS3 controller instead

Properly connecting a PlayStation 3 Controller to a PC is no easy task, especially when you opt for third-party peripherals. Thankfully, our guide will help you through the process.
Computing

Zipping files on a Chromebook? Follow these four easy steps

Chromebooks support file compression, though they work a little differently than on Windows or Mac. Here's the step-by-step process to zipping files on a Chromebook, and then unzipping them again for extraction.
Computing

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.
Computing

Patent application reveals what’s to come after AMD’s Graphics Core Next

A published patent application from AMD has revealed a new type of graphics processor core which could make a big difference to the capabilities of its GPUs if it finds its way into them in the future.
Computing

Microsoft targets Chrome OS with $189 Windows 10 laptops for education

Microsoft announced seven new low-cost Windows 10 laptops, all priced under $300 to take on Chromebooks and iPads in the education market, along with a new Microsoft Allora stylus for students using the Surface Go tablet.
Computing

Lenovo patent hints at a future tablet with a folding screen

Folding devices are a new trend, and according to a recent patent, Lenovo is considering a foldable 2-in-1 with a hinge mechanism that would allow consumers to bend back the screen on the device. 
Computing

Wifi Porter is a high-tech block of wood that lets you share your broadband

Tired of manually connecting your guests to your home Wi-Fi network? The latest invention from the folks at Ten One Design, the WifiPorter, allow individuals to connect to your Wi-Fi with the tap of their phone, or by scanning an available…