'ControlAir' App Brings Finger Gesture Controls to Mac

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Earlier this week, gesture recognition technology company eyeSight introduced ControlAir, an app that uses a Mac's camera to read finger-based movements, allowing users to control various media applications without needing to physically interact with their computers.

The app, which is free to download, works with many popular Mac-based entertainment apps like iTunes, Spotify, Rdio, Netflix, QuickTime, VLC and Vox. The main control scheme is a user's index finger, which, when raised, calls up ControlAir's user interface banner.

Users drag their fingers left and right to highlight the volume rockers, previous/next and play/pause buttons, lowering their index fingers in an "air-click" motion to select and raising their fingers to their lips to mute. Once the designated app is open, ControlAir's touch-free functions will still be able to be called up even if the ControlAir app sits in the background of another.
"ControlAir offers a simple way to control your music and video applications," said Gideon Shmuel, CEO of eyeSight. "Media apps are often running in the background and ControlAir keeps the control of those apps always accessible by simply raising a finger."
ControlAir's responsiveness is impressive, and the app is compatible with any iMac, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air with OS X 10.9 or later, but its constant requirement of access to a computer's camera functionality may hinder its usability for some. As long as a compatible app is open, the green camera-indicating light will remain on until the app is closed. ControlAir can recognize gestures up to five feet away, according to eyeSight, but still picked up and smoothly recognized inputs from up to seven feet in MacRumors' testing.

The limits to the app's current functionality are hoped to be addressed incrementally in the future, with eyeSight specifically promising more entertainment app support will be "coming soon."

ControlAir can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Article Link: 'ControlAir' App Brings Finger Gesture Controls to Mac
 

FrizzleFryBen

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2009
401
6
Charlotte, NC
When I'm home, I have my camera covered-up at all times. So, not much use for me. <paranoid>

Not to mention, I find the keyboard controls work really efficiently without looking at they keyboard...even while reading a book or making my cats dance.
 

teslo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2014
928
598
When I'm home, I have my camera covered-up at all times. So, not much use for me. <paranoid>

Not to mention, I find the keyboard controls work really efficiently without looking at they keyboard...even while reading a book or making my cats dance.
"It appears that FrizzleFryBen tried out the new ControlAir app and he forgot to turn it off yesterday afternoon. Now we have finally documented his 'O-face' and can add it to our database. Thank to all the folks at eyeSight. You're all true patriots in the eyes of the government."
-NSA
 

lars666

macrumors 65816
Jul 13, 2008
1,072
1,008
There surely may be some scenarios out there in which this is useful, but at least to me, this still stays as gimmicky as the similar "Flutter" app – used one, two or three times for the "wow" effect and then never again.
 

vpro

macrumors 65816
Jun 8, 2012
1,192
64
Fail

Too many marketing try-hards out there. Too many people trying to strike it rich with any and all of their dumb, outdated and "point(less)" ideas hah!

Most ads out there are clueless in that they assume everyone is like the guy portrayed and saying that all we do out there in the real world is sit around reading with blank looks on our faces, turning up the volume on bad techno tunes and taking phone calls just to say "yeah man"?

Ah the comedies of marketing, those devils!
 

heimo

macrumors 6502
Aug 9, 2010
308
175
Not to mention, I find the keyboard controls work really efficiently without looking at they keyboard...even while reading a book or making my cats dance.
Is that what kids nowadays are calling it? Making your cats dance.
 

FrizzleFryBen

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2009
401
6
Charlotte, NC
"It appears that FrizzleFryBen tried out the new ControlAir app and he forgot to turn it off yesterday afternoon. Now we have finally documented his 'O-face' and can add it to our database. Thank to all the folks at eyeSight. You're all true patriots in the eyes of the government."
-NSA
Is that what kids nowadays are calling it? Making your cats dance.
Those gave me some good laughs! Thanks!
 

jclardy

macrumors 68040
Oct 6, 2008
3,468
2,251
Tried it and it works pretty well. But having the green camera indicator light on constantly will make me continuously paranoid that I left a google hangouts tab open somewhere.

If it offered some other functionality I might keep it running, but just for music controls...eh.
 

2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
3,327
3,014
This only works 5-7 feet away from the computer. I usually read in the living room on the sofa, not even in sight of the computer. I use my iPhone to control iTunes music that is air played to the living room speakers. So in my use case this will not work. Still nice idea. Some will get use out of this. Maybe this can lead to some other innovations that I would use.
 

Canubis

macrumors regular
Oct 22, 2008
234
208
Vienna, Austria
It seems to crash reproducibly during start on my MacBook Air running 10.8.5. (Though according to Mac App Store compatibility notes, it should run starting 10.7.) Anybody else experiencing the same problem?
 

ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68030
Dec 31, 2007
2,998
2,575
Milwaukee Area
When I'm home, I have my camera covered-up at all times. So, not much use for me. <paranoid>
It's kind of a bummer that once upon a time, we used to feel pretty good about pointing and laughing at people like you. ...before the spooky bastards had to go and admit to congress that accessing anyone and everyones built-in cams without their knowledge was not only something they could do but do actively do at will.

So I understand covering your camera. I just prefer to simply always wear a clever disguise, like this:

 

Senseotech

macrumors 6502a
Nov 23, 2009
778
19
NC
Fatal flaw: I can't seem to get it to recognize my left hand/finger. As a leftie, the movement to throw up that hand is much more natural than my right hand, especially since I mouse with the right, so I have to pull my hand off to do it.
 

hlfway2anywhere

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2006
1,379
1,924
Samsung released this same type of feature where it tracks eyes (Smart Pause) just last year. Android fans were all crazy about it in 2014. Why do you say it's so 2007?
because i'm almost sure i had something like this with Cover Flow before Apple even acquired it. i just don't remember for sure.
 
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