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Googles Flutter acquisition could bring air gestures to Gmail

first_imgWould you rather reach out and touch your screen or wave your hand in front of you in order to get to your next email? It’s entirely possible that Google will soon offer you that choice now that the company has acquired the gesture engineers at Flutter.Many different companies are currently looking at perceptual computing for the next phase of human-computer interaction. The idea that you will be able to comfortably use your eyes to scroll a page on your phone or your hands to launch specific applications aren’t new concepts by any stretch, but they are certainly in need of some real polish. Interesting concepts like the Leap Motion and connecting a Kinect to your PC allow you to peer into this world and see what it could be like, but none of it is really ready for full time use.Flutter is an application that takes your webcam and turns it into a gesture sensor, where you hold up your hand in a specific gesture and you can launch and navigate specific apps. That company was just bought by Google, and it’s not hard to guess why.Simultaneously the greatest (and least used) tool in Gmail’s services are the keyboard shortcuts. Google even sells special stickers that you can put on your keyboard to help teach users how to take advantage of the keyboard functions, but very few users actually know they exist. Google has proven with Chrome OS that the company has the tools necessary to control the webcam through HTML5, so it would be a small leap to see either browser-wide or application specific Flutter-style gestures inside Google’s products thanks to this acquisition. Gesturing between emails or even scrolling throughout Chrome with your webcam would be a powerful, cross-platform way to excite Google’s users and even gain new ones.Flutter is still going to be available to use in its current form for now, according to the CEO in his acquisition announcement, and their engineers will be working with Google to build all new products as well. It’s entirely possible we’ll see enhanced gesture control in Google’s other properties soon, like Android. The web, specifically Chrome and Gmail, seem like low hanging fruit for a tool that is already proven to work on the desktop. Whether you’re a fan of gesture controls or not, it will be interesting to see where this goes.last_img read more