Lowdown: Gesture control

Nadya Powell

The history of the interface – how we access the technology that sits behind our smart devices – is one of slow beginnings and recent revolutions. Between the 1960s and 1980s, the only change in the computer keyboard and screen combo was the introduction of the mouse and a shrinking of key and screen size for mobile telephones. It was not until the arrival of the touchscreen in late 1990 that this relationship was revolutionised. But let's be honest, 10 years later and most marketers have not really worked out how to tailor their communications to touch. So what will the industry do faced with the new interface on the block – gesture control?

Most of us are familiar with gesture control – it's how a Kinetic or Wii works. We move our hands/arms/bodies and the computer senses it through infra-red technology and reflects this motion on the screen. But the technology has recently got smarter, more accurate and more interesting for brands. Leap Motion was the word on everyone's lips post-SXSW – a tic-tac-sized box that retails for less than £ 100 and can plug into any computer with a USB drive and immediately transform it into a gesture control device. Hundreds of apps have been developed ready for launch in July – you can play games, create masterpieces, explore planets, etc, all with your hands.