There are two primary ways to interact with Google Glass — by speaking out loud to it or swiping the touchpad on the side of the headset.
One startup, however, has created a way to interact with Glass through hand gestures.
Finland-based startup Augumenta creates an augmented reality platform for wearable displays. It allows users to interact with a wearable display like Google Glass by simply waving a hand in front of its camera.
It may look and feel a bit more awkward that speaking out loud or using a touchpad, but Augumenta could make it easier for companies to create apps for wearable displays and new head-mounted gadgets.
Since you can navigate the device with only its camera, a company wouldn’t have to include both a touchpad and a camera in its product, Augumenta CTO Peter Antoniac told Business Insider.
Augumenta isn’t just for Google Glass — it could work on any wearable display such as Epson’s Moverio BT-200s, which is primarily designed for gaming and features a display over both eyes rather than just one.
The company just opened up its Augumenta Interaction Platform to developers earlier this week, so there’s not really much you can do with it yet. But its existing functionality is enough to get a feel for what it’s like to interact with Glass using gestures.
To access Augumenta, you need to perform a specific gesture in front of the device’s camera by closing your fist and then opening it. It feels awkward and unnatural before you get used to it, especially since the placement needs to be very precise. If you don’t know exactly where the device’s camera is, you’ll have a hard time launching the Augumenta menu.
You can use your left or right hand to access apps on Augumenta’s platform. In this case, however, I could only use my left hand because of the way the demo software was configured.
From my brief demo, the ability to type and control certain aspects of the device through gestures seems to be its most meaningful use case. Using Augumenta, I was able to toggle a brightness slider by swiping my finger across my hand.
This type of feature may seem unnecessary in everyday use, but it could come in handy when you’re trying to keep information private. For example, if you’re typing in a PIN, you could use Augumenta to project a virtual keypad on your hand through Google Glass. No one would be able to see the keypad but you, so anything you type would be kept private.
Overall, there seems to be potential in Augumenta, but it really depends on what developers do with the platform. In its early iteration, the platform is a little rough around the edges, but it will likely improve as more developers jump on board.
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