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EyeSight demos VR gesture control using standard phone hardware

TechCrunch TechCrunch 17/05/2016 Brian Heater

Over the past few years EyeSight has been establishing a name for itself by bringing gesture control to a series of computing platforms, from mobile devices to smart eyeglasses. Today’s announcement brings the company’s technology to the format where it arguably makes the most sense: virtual reality.

The company isn’t letting out much info on the project. I reached out to a spokesperson who told me that due to the proprietary nature of the technology, EyeSight won’t disclose specifics. What we do know, however, is that the new VR offering is a software solution that utilizes existing smartphone cameras to bring motion control to phone-based virtual reality systems along the lines of Google Cardboard.

The offering does so without the need for any additional hardware, utilizing the phone’s CMOS sensors. The Israeli startup has detailed some simple functionality in a YouTube video:

This is all still in the early stages, but EyeSight did reveal plans to open up the SDK to developers in “the near future.” I asked the company’s CEO Gideon Shmuel to explain what his company is offering, apart from other recent attempts to bring motion controls to the virtual reality landscape.

“[We] designed our computer vision to provide more engaging interactions with VR using finger movements that are natural and intuitive to the user,” Shmuel told me. “By delivering gesture control solutions that are embedded, we enable touch-free interactions for VR without any hardware additions or modifications needed, while we are further working to deliver immersive touch-free control with 3D sensors that are both embedded or computer powered.”

Hopefully we’ll get a more immersive demo in the near future. Stay tuned.

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