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.

Home Theater

Beyerdynamic’s Lagoon ANC cans combine customization, noise cancellation

No two people hear sound the same way. This may explain why a growing trend at CES is sound-customization software. Beyerdynamic introduced it in 2017 and now it's back with a noise-cancelling version in its slick new Lagoon headphones.
Computing

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.
Deals

Best tax software deals from TurboTax, H&R Block, and more

Do you dread doing your taxes? Luckily for you, there are plenty of tax software options available to guide you through the process. And guess what? Some of them are even on sale today! Check out deals from TurboTax, H&R Block, and…
Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…
Computing

Miss AIM? These are the best desktop chat clients to use today

Desktop chat clients are far from dead. In fact, they're currently enjoying something of a renaissance. So, which one should you be using? We take a peek at the best chat clients for teams, gamers and mainstream web surfers.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Smart Home

Booth babes, banned sex toys, and other mishaps at CES 2019

From female sex toys bans, to fake Tesla/robot collision stories, there was some weird stuff going on at CES 2019 this year. Here are some of the biggest mishaps and flubs at the world's biggest tech show.
Mobile

Apple Maps boosts Flyover locations, indoor mall maps, and more

In a boost for Apple Maps, the tech company has recently added more than 50 new locations for Flyover, the feature that offers spectacular 3D photo views of particular cities and famous landmarks around the world.
Mobile

Google has found a clever way to make your search history more useful

Google has found a clever way to make more use of your search history by showing links to pages you've visited before. Ideal for repeat searches for the same page, the links show up on cards at the top of mobile search results.
Web

Shutdown makes dozens of .gov websites insecure due to expired TLS certificates

The US government shutdown is causing trouble in internet security. As the shutdown enters day 22, dozens of government websites have been rendered insecure or inaccessible due to expired transport layer security (TLS) certificates.
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.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Business

Cathay Pacific messes up first-class ticket prices — again

A couple of weeks ago, an error on Cathay Pacific's website resulted in first-class seats selling for a tenth of the price. On Sunday, January 13, the airline made the error again. The good news is that it'll honor the bookings.