At Infocomm 2015, we met with Israel-based MUV Interactive to learn more about their new user interface technology which they call the Bird. It is a device that is worn on the finger that the user can interact with displayed images on any surface as if it were a touch screen. It provides accurate control and good sensitivity allowing functions such as remote touch, hovering, depth sensing, gesture control, mouse functionality, voice commands and even a red laser pointer are all packed into this miniaturized state-of-the-art device that enables a natural and fluent interactive experience.
According to Daniel Star, who is a Board Member and VP of business development, the Bird is designed to work with projected (or flat panel images) images to transform the space into a 3D interactive workspace. He noted that the convergence of three technologies has made the device possible now. This includes low cost inertial measurement units (IMUs) such as are found in nearly every smartphone; optical sensing and wearable sensing.
Star says that most IMUs are used in a low power mode and only offer about 2″ (5cm) of positional resolution. However, when operated differently, they can provide the sub-mm accuracy of the Bird. Optical sensing adds a camera to the projector that allows the tracking of the Bird in a room as large as 30 metres, while the wearable sensing improvements allow the sensing of the pressure of fingers. That means that pressing your index finger and thumb together initiates a click, for example, but holding together might initiate a zoom.
Up to 10 Birds can be supported in the current system, which is simply seen by the system as a Bluetooth device.
Star says that MUV Interactive is a VC funded four-year-old company. They are not yet in production of the Bird, but expect to ship thousands by the end of the year from pre-orders in 40 countries. In 2016, they have a backlog of orders amounting to $15M. Projector makers merely need to add a sensor to their products to make them “Bird enabled.”
The education and ProAV markets are their top priorities. Star showed me a video of children using the Bird quite well to do interactive artwork, after some minimal instructions. https://youtu.be/Fl0sWPrd4U0
The system is relatively inexpensive too – $400-$500 for a single Bird for a class room plus sensors. The end user can then buy additional birds as needed. They will also sell the solution to OEM partners as well.
Star says they have orders or inquiries from all the top brands including NEC, BenQ, Dell, Lenovo, HP, Acer, LG, Samsung and others.
This is one we will have to keep an eye on. (CC)