No-contact systems from Israel’s eyeSight Technology let users control communication, entertainment and even medical devices with gestures alone.
By David Halevi
Israel has emerged as one of the world leaders in gesture-control technology, where users can manage all sorts of electronic devices just with a hands-free gesture. The most well known application may be Microsoft’s Kinect touch-free interactive game system powered by technology from Israel’s PrimeSense. Another company, CamSpace lets users interact with their computers via webcam.
Now, Herzliya-based eyeSight Technology is set to “revolutionize the way people interact with digital devices, creating interaction which is both simple and intuitive,” according to company CEO Gideon Shmuel.
Without taking away from his homegrown competitors, Shmuel says eyeSight is different because it offers a completely device-independent, software-based technology for touch-free movement for use with many devices, including cell phones.
Most recently, eyeSight introduced a solution for Android devices and Windows-based portable computers utilizing their built-in camera, advanced real-time image processing and machine vision algorithms to track the user’s hand motions and convert them into commands. “Users of Android devices can now silence an incoming call, navigate between GPS menus, activate their MP3 player and play games by swiping their hand over the device,” Shmuel says.
The company’s premier product, eyeCan, was designed for a variety of mobile, industrial and home devices. With in-car infotainment and navigation systems, eyeCan technology will allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road while changing the radio station with a quick flick of the wrist. In the kitchen, cooks using a recipe website or virtual cookbook could scroll down or turn pages without getting the keyboard or screen messy. And in the hospital, doctors and nurses could control medical devices and displays without touching them, thereby reducing the risk of spreading infection.
World’s first gesture-controlled music player
eyeSight’s developments for mobile devices are among its most exciting offerings. Its Moove application for Nokia smart phones is behind the world’s first gesture-controlled music player. You just swipe your hand to start and stop the phone’s MP3 player, skip to the next song or raise or lower the volume. The application was downloaded more than a million times when it came out last summer, and the same application is likely to show up in eyeSight’s Android offerings along with games and other programs.
eyeSight has been around since 2005, funded by “angels and super-angels,” says Shmuel. However, he expects a steady revenue stream over the coming months, as the company develops its products for Android phone and tablet manufacturers.
There has been a lot of excitement in the Android community over eyeSight’s work, says Itay Katz, eyeSight’s CTO. “A good technology is an invisible one. eyeSight’s touch-free interface technology for Android-based devices introduces exactly that – a new level of interaction that is natural, intuitive and simple to use,” says Katz.
“Users are looking for ways to ease, improve and enjoy their day-to-day interaction with their mobile phone, ideally aiming to gain effortless control of the device’s applications and functions, which is where eyeSight’s solution comes in to play,” he adds.
Internet campaign launched to raise funds to help heal three-year-old, 310-pound Ariel. Hebrew University veterinarians contacted because of their experience with large animals
Stretched atop a mattress laid out in the living room of an upper class home, Ariel the lion was fast asleep Wednesday as four people gently cleaned and massaged his body.
The three-year-old, 310-pound (140-kilogram) lion is the focus of an Internet campaign to raise money needed to treat the paralysis that struck him a year ago, depriving him of the use of his four legs.
Veterinarian Livia Pereira and Ariel’s owner, Raquel Borges, said the $11,500 needed every month to pay for Ariel’s treatment comes from donations from nearly 35,000 people who have clicked the “like” button on Ariel’s Facebook page.