Microsoft may add Kinect gestures to upcoming Nokia McLaren Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia Icon front
A future high-end Windows Phone like the Nokia Lumia 1020 pictured here could incorporate Kinect-like gesture controls, according to sources.

Microsoft may have some interesting new technology hiding up its sleeve. According to a report from the Verge, Microsoft plans to incorporate Kinect-like gestures into the interface of the upcoming Nokia McLaren Windows Phone. The Nokia McLaren is expected to debut later this year.

The new gesture-based interface will allow users to interact with elements on the display without ever actually having to touch the screen directly, anonymous sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans say. The new gesture controls are referred to as 3D Touch or Real Motion internally and will arrive on at least one Windows Phone soon. The first device to feature the new interface will most likely be the long-rumored McLaren.

The McLaren is expected to be a powerful, high-end Windows Phone with an excellent camera, much like the Nokia Lumia 1020 (shown above). If Microsoft is willing to put Kinect-like gesture controls on the McLaren, the interface must be well-tested. According to the unnamed sources, Microsoft has been working on the technology for several years now and expects it to work well on the device. The company is working closely with app developers to ensure that the new gesture controls can be used on multiple apps and mobile games.

The McLaren will feature multiple sensors to ensure that the user’s motions are accurately detected and applied. The 3D Touch interface isn’t expected to arrive on Samsung or HTC Windows Phones at first. It seems that Microsoft wants to make the technology an in-house exclusive for now. The interface will allow users to answer phone calls by moving the phone up to their ears, hang up the phone by stowing in in their pockets, and even enable speaker phone by placing the device on a table or other flat surface during a call.

Users will also be able to silence the phone by placing the device against their chest or covering it with the palm of their hands. Dismissing notifications will be a breeze with the software, too: Whenever users receive an alert, all they have to do is wave a hand in front of the display. Microsoft hopes to enable the phone to recognize different amounts of pressure while users hold the device, so that while you’re reading in bed, the screen orientation lock clicks into place automatically. With 3D Touch installed, the camera app will allow users to zoom in on a subject, simply by sliding a finger along the edge of the device.

Overall, Microsoft’s focus on 3D Touch gesture controls indicates that it hopes to eliminate the need for an excess of physical buttons on the device. The new interface will also significantly limit the amount of touching users actually have to do to interact with their smartphones. The anti-touch movement seems to be growing in the world of mobile, with Amazon reportedly planning a gestured-based 3D interface and Samsung’s air gestures for controlling music tracks. Incorporating gesture controls on Windows Phones seems like a big risk for Microsoft, but in an increasingly competitive smartphone market, it’s sometimes necessary to take drastic steps forward into uncharted territory.

Deals

Simplify your life with one of these wireless smartphone charger deals

Banish nightly cable fumbling with a wireless smartphone charger. If your smartphone is compatible with wireless charging, the simplicity of placing it on a pad is a beautiful thing. Wireless chargers are also excellent gifts for coworkers.
Mobile

Android 9.0 updates to stretch into 2019 -- will your phone get a slice of Pie?

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2018

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

Microsoft Outlook for iOS gets big redesign, with Dark Mode coming soon

Microsoft has deployed a huge redesign for its Outlook for iOS app, which includes new blue branding and some quality-of-life improvements. Dark Mode isn't included, but it's coming soon.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Mobile

Vanquish lag for good with the best routers for gaming

Finding the best routers for gaming is no easy task. With so many out there, how do you know which to pick? We've looked at the many options available and put together a list of our lag-free favorites.
Mobile

Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 now available on the Apple Store

The Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 is now available on the Apple Store for $150. The sensor strip, which is only 2 millimeters thin, automatically tracks a wide array of sleep data when placed under the user's sheets.
Deals

Save up to $750 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $750.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Google to end support for Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich

Anyone with an old phone that is still running Android 4.0 may want to look into upgrading their phone, as Google has announced that it will be ending support for this older version of Android.
Mobile

Amazon knocks $30 off its Paperwhite ebook reader in limited-time deal

Amazon is running a couple of limited-time deals for its Paperwhite ebook reader. One offers a $30 discount, while the other throws in a pair of headphones and a free, extended Audible trial.
Mobile

New Galaxy S10 leaks showcase display sizes, confirm headphone jack return

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.