Web

Google acquires gesture-recognition startup Flutter

google acquires gesture recognition startup flutter

Google has acquired another startup, this time the company behind gesture-recognition software Flutter.

Flutter, which works with webcam-equipped machines running Windows and Apple’s OS X, allows you to control songs and videos on your computer using hand gestures. For example, a simple palm gesture will pause a song, while a ‘thumbs right’ gesture takes you to the next track.

The Kinect-like software is compatible with a range of programs and services, including iTunes, Spotify, Rdio, VLC, Quicktime, and, through the Chrome browser, Netflix and YouTube. It currently costs $5 for Mac users, though Windows users can get it for free.

Flutter CEO Navneet Dalal announced the acquisition Wednesday afternoon, though the terms of the deal were not revealed.

“Today, we are thrilled to announce that we will be continuing our research at Google,” Dalal wrote on the Flutter site. “We share Google’s passion for 10x thinking, and we’re excited to add their rocket fuel to our journey.”

Dalal promised that the software will remain available for download, with more updates coming soon, including – according to its iTunes page – one for volume control.

Google confirmed the acquisition in a note to TheNextWeb, saying, “We’re really impressed by the Flutter team’s ability to design new technology based on cutting-edge research. We look forward to supporting and collaborating on their research efforts at Google.”

Flutter launched three years ago and currently has six employees. As for what the Mountain View company has in store for Flutter’s technology, we’ll have to wait and see – there’s a chance we could see it worked into a future version of Android or incorporated into Glass, although the latter may leave users looking like they’re swatting flies when all they’re actually trying to do is change songs.

Product Review

Want to see how powerful the Snapdragon 855 chip is? Just rev up the Xiaomi Mi 9

How fast do you want to go? If the answer to this is “as fast as possible,” then take a long look at the Xiaomi Mi 9. It’s one of the highest performance smartphones you can buy. It’s a real monster, and we’ve been using it.
Computing

Potentially malicious WinRAR vulnerability patched after almost 20 years

WinRAR, a piece of Windows software for managing archival formats, has been harboring a vulnerability for nearly two decades, potentially allowing malicious software to insert items into a computer's startup folder without user permission.
Computing

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. The best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.
Computing

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Computing

Microsoft extension adds Google Chrome support for Windows Timeline

The Windows Timeline feature is now much more versatile thanks to the added support for Google's Chrome browser. All you need to do to increase its functionality is to download the official Chrome extension.
Movies & TV

Here’s how to watch the 2019 Oscars livestream online

The 91st Academy Awards will air live on ABC, but there are also a number of ways to watch Hollywood's biggest night online using your mobile device, desktop, or set-top streamer. Here's how to catch the Oscars livestream.
Computing

YouTube changes its strikes system, offers softer first-offense penalty

YouTube announced changes to its strikes system for its content creators. The changes include a softer first-offense penalty for creators who violate YouTube's guidelines and more consistent penalties for further violations.
Computing

An experimental feature could help reduce memory usage in Google Chrome

Google Chrome might be the most popular web browser, but it also is a resource hog. Google is currently working on an experimental feature for Chrome which sets out to reduce its overall memory usage. 
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or OS.
Web

Rid yourself of website notification requests in just a few easy steps

Wish you knew how to block browser and website notifications? You can do it on a case by case basis, but that can become dull after the 10th site has asked for your approval. Here's how to block them outright.
Computing

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.
Photography

The best place to print photos online in 2019

Have you been looking around for the best place to print out your favorite photos online or in store? Don't fret, we've pored through dozens of options and narrowed it down to the seven best.
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Computing

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.