IFA 2008: Moving Beyond The Mouse


Several companies — large and small — were demonstrating alternative input technologies at IFA today. Most, like the Pong video above, were exploring how to use motion tracking to control various on-screen elements. More video after the jump.


Toshiba had a nice gesture recognition system, which you can watch in this video. I couldn’t make it work on my own at first, because I didn’t figure out that the fist icon meant that you actually needed to put your hand into a fist. It’s still a little rough around the edges, but it’s nice to see effort to move us beyond the mouse.


DKFI Saarbrücken’s Advanced Tangible Interface Lab had a Wii Balance Board connected via plain old Bluetooth to a PC running custom software that allowed the user to drive through Google Earth by shifting their weight on the board. It’s not an entirely useful solution right now — especially since it was really hard to come to a full stop — but again I’m glad to see people looking at how to advance the state of user input technology.