to an Israeli startup called PointGrab,
life has just gotten exponentially easier. Now, you don’t have to press the
buttons on your remote control to channel surf; nor do you have to get up to
switch songs on the computer across the room. Your bare hands can do the trick.
is made possible by PointGrab’s advanced gesture recognition software, on the
market since 2010, which offers an intuitive way of interacting with consumer
devices. Through finger, hand and two-hand movements, the software (available
on Android, iOS, Linux, OS X and Windows) communicates with the standard camera
of PCs, tablets, smartphones and TVs for a whole new user experience.
Hybrid Action Recognition technology – which won the Frost & Sullivan 2013
European Technology Innovation Award – was introduced last July and can
accurately and reliably anticipate, detect and analyze shapes and movements up
to 17 feet away.
Acer and Lenovo were the first computer companies to integrate the software
into their hardware. Samsung began to do the same with its smart TVs in 2012.
In 2013, PointGrab introduced an advanced version snapped up by Samsung and
then Chinese electronics manufacturers TLC and Skyworth. So far, more than 20
million devices are equipped with hand gesture capability powered by PointGrab.
gesture recognition technology to control home appliances like lights, air
conditioning and shades.
beauty of a software solution is that you don’t have to change the hardware in
an existing device,” Director of Marketing Avital Rabani tells ISRAEL21c in the
company’s offices in Hod HaSharon. “That’s why many manufacturers prefer it.”
CamMe for the selfie craze
does not sell directly to consumers, but rather with to equipment
demonstrating the technology on her iPad and TV, Rabani points to the company’s
SDK (software development kit) for developers to create applications using
introduce this SDK, PointGrab has developed CamMe – a gesture-based camera
enabling users to photograph themselves without having to hold their phones or
iPads at arm’s length. They simply gesture at the device from a distance.
the selfie craze, this app has been a huge hit,” she says. “Less than six
months after loading it to the app store, there were nearly one million
Samsung uses PointGrab
tech in its smart TVs.
And, she adds,
PointGrab “has been working hard to keep consumer costs down. We feel this
experience should be available for the masses, not just the high-end market.”
is now launching AirTouch for consumer electronic devices, allowing you to
control your devices from a distance by simulating a “touch” gesture in the
air; and PointSwitch to adjust home lighting, air conditioning, electric shades
It understands what you want to do
gesturing “open” at your refrigerator and watching the doors part as if by
magic. Picture entering a dark room and signaling the light to go on with the
point of your finger.
was given a demonstration of PointSwitch, which “understands” the intent of the
user by measuring the eye-finger trajectory aiming to turn a light on or off.
it would go on and off whenever anyone in the room accidentally gestured in its
direction,” explains Rabani. This makes it different from the mechanism in
motion-sensor lights, which respond to any movement in their path.
was founded in 2008 by Haim Perski and Amir Kaplan, both of whom had years of
experience at N-trig, an Israeli company that developed integrated pen and
touch technology for smartphone, tablet and Ultrabook devices. Privately owned
since the beginning, PointGrab is now a profitable endeavor with a staff of 60
full-time employees, about 50 of whom are located in Israel – the R&D base
of the operation — while the remaining 10 work worldwide in sales and business
challenge it currently faces is making consumers aware not only that the
gesture-control technology exists, but that it is already available in many
example, recounts Rabani, “We went into a Best Buy in the United States and
discovered that a salesman didn’t even realize that the TV he was pushing
contained it. We showed him how it works, and he was amazed, saying, ‘Now I
know how to sell this TV!’”
a result, PointGrab held a large training session in Israel for Samsung
salespeople so that consumers have a better chance of becoming familiar with
its next invention will need to be a virtual treadmill.
more information, see www.pointgrab.com.