"Today, we are thrilled to announce that we will be continuing
our research at Google. We share Google's passion for 10x thinking,
and we're excited to add their rocket fuel to our journey."
was splashed on the landing page of Flutter, the nascent Silicon
Valley developer of a gesture-control app that just hit the tech
startup jackpot, thanks to this week's buyout from search giant
Founded three years ago, Flutter detects basic hand signals through
the existing webcams on
) computers to control apps and software like iTunes,
), Spotify, and VLC. This nifty product not only helps keep carpal
tunnel at bay, but gives our hands a rest period from that petri
dish of a keyboard.
Of course, the burning question on any tech junkie's mind is what
Google plans to do with its newfound foothold in the
gesture-recognition space. How will Google hasten Flutter's
explained to TechCrunch
, of powering "the eyes of our devices -- in the same way that Siri
functions as the iPhone's ears"?
Naturally, as is the case with most big tech deals, mum's the word
over at Mountain View -- leaving us to speculate wildly as to the
eventual windup. And, so, here we go.
It's worth a mention, since gesture-control technology was largely
commercially pioneered by console gaming devices like
(OTCMKTS:NTDOY) Wii and Microsoft's Xbox Kinect -- and is
soon to come
) Playstation 4 -- but it's pretty unlikely Google's disruptive
idea involves venturing into video-game territory.
Alternative energy blogs like Blue Phoenix have their fingers
crossed that Google snapping up Flutter spells big changes in the
home energy management
. Noting Google's standing commitment to clean energy with a $1
billion-plus investment in large-scale wind and solar projects
(along with its ill-fated PowerMeter monitoring tool), the hope is
for a one-upping over the motion-sensing Nest Learning Thermostat
and highly anticipated Nest smoke alarm.
What about that April Fool's joke Google played on us a couple
years back that introduced
and its "spatial tracking algorithm" to the public? Sure, having to
do a two-thumbs-up to reply all or pretending to lick an imaginary
stamp to send a message were a bit spoofy, but they were
essentially heightened versions of a very real technology. A very
real technology Google just spent a whole bunch of money on.
Folding the technology into virtual computing (Ã la
, minus the gloves, please!) in offerings like the camera-equipped
Chromebook laptops, Nexus tablets, and the facial recognition and
gesture search functions already present on Android phones, also
Having recently entered the smart TV market, Google may leverage
gesture control -- like FreespaceMotionEngine's in-air pointing --
for use in a future-generation, camera-carrying Chromecast device.
Or maybe this technology is going on the road. Google's
has been in the works
for years now, and perhaps Flutter will bring things like the
ability to roll down windows with the swipe of a hand closer to the
assembly line. After all, can it be chalked up to mere coincidence
that, within the same week Google acquired Flutter, it also filed
for a patent on
gesture-based car controls
Then again, this could just be a booster for Glass.
Whatever Google's got up its sleeve (or on the bridge of its nose),
we welcome this wave of, and to, the future.