Any Object Used for Remote Control

The BBC has reported that a researcher from Lancaster University has developed a Matchpoint remote control system that uses a webcam and any object to act as a remote control. The user moves the object in a circular motion and the camera then tracks the object. It can even be used to allow a hand or head to be used to control TV functions.

When selecting volume adjustment or channel selection, sliders appear. The user moves their hand, head, or object, in the required direction indicated by the slider to change the volume or to find the desired channel. In addition to short-term couplings, users can also link stationary objects to controls, which even when left for prolonged periods will retain their control function. For example, a mug sat on a table could change a track on a music player when moved left or right, and a rolling toy car could be used to adjust volume. Objects can lose their coupling with controls simply by removing them from the camera’s field of view.

Analyst Comment

As well as allowing users to adopt novel techniques, the researchers believe that it could be very helpful for disabled users. (BR)