Does Gesture-Recognition Technology Have a Role in Today's Factories?
August 6, 2013
Gesture-recognition technology was introduced to mass consciousness more than a decade ago via the Tom Cruise film Minority Report. Now no longer science fiction, it allows a computer to recognize and respond to commands from a user's face or hands without touching anything. But does gesture-recognition technology fit in an actual, live manufacturing operation today? Earlier this year IMT reported The demonstration featured off-the-shelf hardware, including a standard computer and two Microsoft Kinect systems, each comprised of a camera and 3D sensors. The advantage of the system is that an employee can remain at the workstation while inspecting a testing object. Workers save time by not having to walk around the shop floor, while also enjoying a more comfortable work environment. Last August Ford of Europe Gesture-recognition technology is young -- and dominated by the video gaming industry. A May 2013 market report Beyond games, the technology would be useful anywhere touching a screen or other computer interface is not possible or optimal. For example, last year MIT Technology Review Beyond bleeding-edge adopters, however, gesture-recognition technology isn't developed enough for most applications. Management consultancy Deloitte Notably, one of the top gesture-recognition development firms, GestureTek, lists There will surely be genuinely useful manufacturing applications some day. "Soon, gesture recognition will be a ubiquitous and omnipresent tool in our everyday life in ways we can barely imagine," say officials of optical technology manufacturer JDSU, which notes that gesture-recognition technology is best thought of as a complementary rather than displacing technology. "Gesture recognition will most likely add functionality to existing interfaces rather than eliminate them. An effective user interface provides many different ways to accomplish the same task," the company claims, adding that "gesture recognition will be a ubiquitous add-on capability integrated with other technologies; it will enhance rather than replace user-interface components." Grant Odgers, CEO of New Zealand-based Swiftpoint, which just signed a global licensing agreement with Belkin International to put Swiftpoint's patented GesturePoint hardware and software technology in tablets, notebooks, smartphones, and PCs, also downplays the idea that gesture recognition will render mouse and touch technology obsolete. "Take for example, the latest release of Microsoft Office 2013," Odgers said