In-Air gesturing is likely to be one of the technology features coming to various devices in 2019 from smartphones to Mixed Reality headsets. Patently Apple posted a report on last Friday titled "Apple could be onboard the 2019 3D Camera trend for Smartphones that will introduce In-Air Gesture Controls." Sony revealed that the 3D camera module will be used in 2019 smartphones by Huawei and others including Apple. One of the key features of the new 3D camera will be in-air gesturing as noted in photo below.
Technology leaders such as Samsung, Apple (01, 02), Microsoft and Facebook have all shown an interest in developing in-air gesturing applications and devices like headsets that could work with such a feature.
Last month the U.S. Patent Office published a Samsung patent application covering gesture sensing in use with a mixed reality headset. Our cover graphic is a patent figure from that patent filing. The system's in-air gestures will range from simple to complex and use a combination color and depth camera to recognize a user's gestures to control functions and/or features of the headset.
Read our Patently Mobile report for more details on this invention. This could be a priority invention for Samsung being that one of the inventors listed on Samsung's patent filing is Ji Soo Yi, a VP at Samsung leading an AI Strategy Group that worked on Bixby 2.0 and other projects.
While one Samsung patent covered a future VR headset, Samsung also filed for a specific AR headset that was published by USPTO last month.
With Apple leading the way in AR for iDevices, it was interesting to see Samsung decide to take a strong shift to an AR headset in an attempt to beat Apple to market with a headset that Apple is reportedly working on. It wouldn't be surprising to see Samsung beat Apple to market.
At the end of the day, the Samsung VR headset with in-air gesturing is just another sign that this will be the next big feature for depth cameras starting next year. Only time will tell if in-air gesturing will prove to be useful or just a short term fad.