BARCELONA, Spain--Here's another reason besides video chat that you might want a front-facing camera on your next mobile phone: controlling it by waving your arm or moving your hand.
This type of touchless gesture interface is coming to mobile phones from top-tier handset makers this year, promised Ofer Sadka, chief technology officer of a start-up called Extreme Reality based in Herzeliya, Israel, that's commercializing the technology.
In the Texas Instruments booth at the Mobile World Congress show here, he demonstrated two variations of the gesticulation-sensitive interface being used to flip through a photo gallery. One used close-range hand gestures, including rotating a fist to zoom in and out. The other was from several feet away--it's got an 8-meter range--and used more sweeping arm motions, an experience more akin to Microsoft's Kinect game controller.
The touchless interface could be useful for controlling devices in a car, Sadka said, where a driver might for example not want to have to focus specifically on hitting the right button.
Sadka demonstrated the technology on an Android-powered, bulky TI hardware development system, but said it'll work on conventional phones, too.