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Forget the Remote, Make Gestures at Your TV

Forget the remote control... it's too limited. Let Softkinetic's technology allow you to change those channels with just a flick of the hand!

For consumers who hate remote controls (or seem to lose them in the dreaded Black Abyss), Softkinetic and Orange Vallée may have the solution: Keanu. The new interface combines Softkinetic's iisu software technology with Orange Vallée's knowledge in media user interfaces, with the end result transforming consumer televisions into an interactive, device-free experience controlled by simple hand and body gestures.

"The old remote control is too limited to browse the thousands of channels or access rich services like photos and games that are available on today’s connected TVs," said Jean-Louis Constanza, CEO, Orange Vallée. "Softkinetic’s innovative technology is changing the dynamic of interactive TV and offering unlimited potential in the future of entertainment."

As if yanked straight out of The Matrix or The Minority Report, the Keanu interface allows consumers to change channels, make keyword searches with a virtual keyboard, click icons and links, control the volume or drag, drop, and zoom images using real-time body movements and gestures. Softkinetic's iisu middleware relies on advanced 3D depth-sensing cameras, and is ideal for living rooms because its highly accurate sensing abilities allow it to "eliminate interference from background images and distinguish individuals from a group."

Specifically, iisu provides the following functionalities: scene calibration, scene image filtering, isolation of the user’s body and removal of other disturbing elements in the scene, such as furniture, walls, objects and other people, identification and tracking of the user’s body parts (head, hands, legs, torso, center of mass, etc.), movements, and other contextual information, 3D avatar representation, and inverse kinematics and gesture action packs. According to the company, the iisu middleware platform supports all available 3D depth sensing cameras, and a Software Development Kit (SDK) is currently available for developers of Interactive Digital Entertainment, Fitness Equipment and Industrial Applications.

But as for the Keanu interface, neither Softkinetic or Orange Vallée offered a valid street date. Instead, Softkinetic's CEO offered praises over the joint venture. "Consumers want an easier and more intuitive experience when it comes to their television and Keanu is the first application to address this," said Michel Tombroff, Softkinetic’s CEO. "We’re excited to partner with Orange Vallée and be a part of the future of consumer electronics"

With touch-screen interfaces and motion-sensing technology invading mobile devices, desktops, businesses and entertainment systems, it looks as if the digital age has transformed into something more. Welcome to the Interactive Age.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • afrobacon
    My current remote has a habit of migrating to the fridge, usually top shelf next to the milk; although once I found it in the veggie drawer....

    This product is invaluable to me; I would sell everything but my TV to get this; granted it works as good as the article makes it to sound.
  • nukemaster
    Do will giving it the finger turn off that damn show I hate?
  • Pei-chen
    Raise the middle finger will get you CNN and farting FOX.
  • hop
    This is old news, try the clap on clap off. :-D
  • Trialsking
    Keanu, it should have been called the "Neo" or better yet, the "Ted Theodore Logan", or maybe the "Wild Stallion"
  • tayb
    Ah yes. Pressing a button on the remote that is sitting on the arm rest of the coach is much too difficult. I need to wave my arms around in a wii-like motion to change channels... to make it easier for me...
  • mman74
    Not only that but you should see me when I am watching a game. So whenever the home team scores and I jump up and down pumping my arms in celebration, the channel will flip channels, change volume and then turn itself off? Are you serious?!