Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Technology

Mobile phones to get handy upgrade

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 01:44

Computer Scientists at the University of Washington are developing a radar-like system that will allow users to control their wireless devices with hand gestures. The system uses the reflection of radio waves to track hand movements and translate them into commands. Ben Gruber reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

STORY: In this lab at the University of Washington a smartphone is learning a new trick. Researchers Chen Zao and Matthew Reynolds are testing out a new type of sensor that enables a user to control a mobile phone without ever having to touch it. In the not too distant future, they say a simple hang gesture will be sufficient to switch songs or decline a call while a phone is tucked away in a pocket or bag. The new sensor is called Sideswipe and it uses a smartphone's radio signals much like a plane uses radar. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MATTHEW REYNOLDS, COMPUTER SCIENTISTS, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, SAYING: "If you think about a radar on an aircraft or a boat or something like that, in that case you have a transmitter that is sending energy out into the environment and it is being reflected by objects nearby." ...the object in this case, is a users hand, which acts as a mirror reflecting the cell phone signal back towards it's source. Reynolds says that reflected signal can be used as a real time map for the sensor. He says that as the signal flow changes, patterns emerge... (SOUNDBITE) (English) MATTHEW REYNOLDS, COMPUTER SCIENTISTS, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, SAYING: "And what we do is use a machine learning algorithm to match patterns of the changes due to gestures with previously recorded patterns and when we see a match we say 'oh' a particular gesture has been performed." In a small study, the team showed that their sensor worked with 87 percent accuracy using multiple hand gestures. Reynolds says they are now fine-tuning the technology and hope to team up with smartphone makers to bring gesture recognition out of the lab and into the market.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Mobile phones to get handy upgrade

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 01:44

Editors' Picks »

Business »

Moving Pictures »

Images of October Images of October

Mon, 03 Nov, 2014 - (0:57)

The world in a city The world in a city

Fri, 31 Oct, 2014 - (1:30)

Real-life superheroes Real-life superheroes

Tue, 28 Oct, 2014 - (1:44)

Dance of the northern lights Dance of the northern lights

Mon, 20 Oct, 2014 - (1:08)

Images of September Images of September

Thu, 02 Oct, 2014 - (1:00)

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, 05 Sep, 2014 - (2:05)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, 01 Sep, 2014 - (2:23)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, 22 Aug, 2014 - (3:12)

Images of August Images of August

Fri, 29 Aug, 2014 - (1:00)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, 11 Aug, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, 08 Aug, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Fri, 01 Aug, 2014 - (1:20)

Oddly Enough »

Birds around the world take flight Birds around the world take flight

Sat, 22 Nov, 2014 - (2:00)

Calling all men: here's your chance to experience labor pains Calling all men: here's your chance to...

Thu, 20 Nov, 2014 - (1:43)

Block-long billboard lights up Times Square Block-long billboard lights up Times Square

Wed, 19 Nov, 2014 - (1:19)

Japan’s military gets sexy Japan’s military gets sexy

Tue, 18 Nov, 2014 - (1:30)

Paris turns on holiday spirit Paris turns on holiday spirit

Mon, 17 Nov, 2014 - (0:57)

Belgian artists sculpt Disney on ice Belgian artists sculpt Disney on ice

Mon, 17 Nov, 2014 - (1:32)

A whale of a tale A whale of a tale

Fri, 14 Nov, 2014 - (0:32)

Sandcastle hits new heights Sandcastle hits new heights

Wed, 12 Nov, 2014 - (0:59)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, 19 Feb, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, 10 Jan, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, 05 Aug, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, 17 Dec, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sun, 09 Dec, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Mon, 10 Dec, 2012 - (10:39)