The US Patent & Trademark Office recently published a patent application from Samsung that reveals their research into adding motion controls to future generations of Smart TVs. Samsung's patent shows how a new motion camera that could either sit on the TV or be built-into the TV will be able to control audio volume, change channels, turn an ebook page, move you to new pages in any kind of app such a photos app and even allow you to draw in an app on the TV screen. While adding motion controls to a TV is mildly interesting, the fact is that "Smart TVs" are going to be a work in progress for some time. Voice controls may have advantages over motion and vice versa. Until the right mix of next generation controls make sense to us all, a smartly laid out TV remote is still going to be with us for some time to come.
The Smart TV Hand Controller
Samsung's patent FIGS. 4 and 6 illustrate how a user will be able to control features of the Smart TV simply using motion sensors in the camera either sitting on top of the TV or built-into the TV. The cursor on the TV screen representing your hand movements could look like an arrow as shown below or some other form such as a pen or hand with pointed finger. You'll be able to control volume and channels with in-air hand motions.
Beyond TV shows, movies and gaming, other exemplary applications to work with in-air motions or gestures could include apps like drawing, simple editing documents and/or an image, turning pages of an e-book or being able to scroll down a webpage. User will also be able to use gestures to perform other kinds of tasks such as zoom.
Last week we posted a report about a Samsung patent that presented us with next generation voice controls and video conferencing coming to future Smart TVs. To review that report, click here.
Samsung filed their patent application under serial number 737273 back in Q1 2013 in the US and a year earlier in Korea. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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