The TV remote control of the future isn't an expensive device with an LCD screen and blinking lights. It's your hand.
The classic TV remote control most of us have grown up with has been around in essentially the same incarnation for half a century. It's been tweaked over the years, but now one company is looking at ditching the remote altogether and using a camera mounted below a TV screen that senses hand motions instead of button pushes. The result is something that seems right out of Minority Report.
But the high-tech user interface Tom Cruise coolly manipulates onscreen isn't even all that far-fetched now, thanks to incremental improvements. Until now, the most innovative new input for entertainment in the living room has been the Wii-mote, the motion-sensing remote control/wand that has made Nintendo's game console a cultural phenomenon. Swing it like a tennis racket and you can pretend you're playing tennis, point it at the screen and use it like a mouse to navigate menus.
Televisions have progressed as well, with better picture quality and capability. Now TVs can record TV shows, stream Netflix movies, check the weather, read news headlines, and skim RSS feeds. The menus on those TVs appear more and more like what we see on our computer screens, so a new interface that operates more like a mouse seems almost inevitable.
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