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noviembre 17, 2017

The End of the Touchscreen – Xesto

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The End of the TouchscreenHow we will use our gadgets in the near future Give us a call, or a wave?On March 29, 2017, Samsung unveiled its next flagship phone to the public. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ came equipped with all the newest technical specifications that one could expect: a faster processor, a top of the line camera, and so on. However, the most notable reveal was in fact something it didn’t have: Samsung removed the phone’s bottom navigational keys. It still had virtual buttons as a compromise for the increased touchscreen display, but this allowed Samsung to make the touchscreen cover the smartphone from virtually edge to edge.Flash forward to September 12, Apple took it a step further with the iPhone X. Not only did Apple completely remove the home button, it also changed the way that the user goes back to the home screen, with a swipe from the bottom rather than a click of a virtual button. As a market leader, Apple’s redesign of the iPhone marks the mainstream acceptance of bezel-less smartphones. Furthermore, Apple’s deliberate move to replace the Touch ID with Face ID technology on the iPhone X aimed to both improve user security, but also offer a more intuitive way to access the phone with less physical interaction with the device itself.We live in a world where touchscreens are the current go-to method to interact with your mobile devices. Given its widespread adoption and mainstream success, you would be easily forgiven if you believed that interacting with touchscreens will continue to be the norm for years to come. However, this view is limited when considering historical trends of technology, which becomes clearer when delving into Apple’s product history. As a business whose competitive advantage is based on market-leading innovation, its computers have seen some radical developments, with thinner designs and touch bars. However, the iPod is the device that best highlights the dramatic changes that Apple is willing to make to maintain its dominant market position. With the iPod, Apple moved from clickable buttons, to a circular slider, and, finally, to touch screen-only control.Even touchscreens themselves had their way paved by previous innovations. Take Blackberry, which revolutionized cell phones by adding the mini keyboard, redefining how people used their mobile devices. However, although it believed that its innovation would be the long-term method for interacting with phones, touchscreen displays pushed user-centric design further and completely wiped away Blackberry’s market share. Companies that were reactive instead of proactive in the face of technological innovation failed to sustain their competitive dominance. Thus, it only makes sense that touchscreens will be replaced by the next great technological wave — where touching a device is not even necessary.Current Developments[embedded content]Filmmaker Keiichi Matsuda’s vision of the future in “HYPER-REALITY.”People have dreamed about interacting with holograms in a sci-fi world, as imagined by films ranging from Blade Runner to Star Wars. Now, companies are working to make these dreams a reality. In early 2016, Microsoft introduced the concept of ‘mixed reality’ with its HoloLens headset, mixing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Wearing a HoloLens creates virtual overlays over one’s real surroundings, realizing a more immersive experience than just looking at a smartphone. In Florida, the heavily-funded company Magic Leap has been in stealth mode for years also building a glasses-based mixed reality solution. It is rumoured to be releasing the first version of its supposedly groundbreaking product in 2018. Even other major companies like Apple and Facebook are investing in augmented reality projects to build their own immersive reality glasses.Looking at a different approach to user-centric innovation, Google is currently dedicating significant resources to build embedded sensor technologies that would eliminate the need for touch screens. In 2015 at Google I/O, the company’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group announced Project Soli, a radar chip that is capable of detecting and tracking touchless gesture inputs with high accuracy. As a tiny hardware component, it can be integrated in a variety of electronic devices for a multitude of uses. Examples include touchless watches, phones that don’t need dual cameras to be touchless, and stereo systems with touchless control. The chip has been in development for the past few years, but Google finally announced that it would ship development kits later in 2017. Google ATAP also announced Project Jacquard at I/O 2015, a digital platform to build smart clothing, along with a partnership with Levi’s at I/O 2016 that integrates Google’s embedded sensor technology into Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket. With a tap, swipe, or hold of the sleeve, you can control your gadgets like your phone without stopping to look at them.[embedded content]Some examples of Google’s Project Soli in action in “Welcome to Project Soli.”Even with Project Soli still under development, depth sensing solutions already exist. Leap Motion is well funded and is specifically building hand-tracking technologies that would be integrated with AR/VR technologies. It is bringing its accurate touchless technology not just to desktop hardware, but also to the mobile space with its Mobile VR platform. Additionally, competitors are responding to Leap Motion’s solutions. For example, Facebook acquired Nimble VR and Pebbles Interfaces, two gesture-control and hand-tracking companies, to develop touchless innovations for products like its Oculus acquisition.Transportation is also being disrupted by touchless technologies. Automotive companies are introducing touchless dashboards into their vehicles. For example, BMW introduced its AirTouch technology at CES 2016 for touchless capabilities in its vehicles, then followed that with HoloActive Touch at CES 2017, a virtual holographic screen that is operated with finger gestures. In fact, BMW already has gesture control in its 5 and 7-Series vehicles, albeit an early-stage version of its innovative technology. Elon Musk has also embraced the touchless era. For his aerospace company SpaceX, Musk revealed that it is integrating sensor and visualization technologies to view and modify 3D models. In a SpaceX official video, Musk demonstrated the solution’s functionality, leveraging the power of Leap Motion, Nvidia, Oculus VR, and more to create a touchless 3D modelling display system.[embedded content]Elon Musk showing off SpaceX’s touchless 3D modelling technology in “The Future of Design.”Away We GoThe past years have ushered in new user functionalities, including integrated voice recognition to control everything from your phones to your homes, as well as depth-sensing cameras to visualize the space surrounding devices. Looking at the investments by major technology companies, you can get a clearer indication of their beliefs for where the future will be for electronic devices. As you realize a big picture perspective of the rapidly changing technological landscape, it is more easy to tell what will be the future of electronic devices — a future without touch screens.Written by Christopher Kim.Getting Ahead of the Curve Our Co-Founder and CEO Sophie Howe showing off the Xesto API at the IDEABOOST VIP Investor Session.We believe that the touchless future is possible today. Xesto provides the first custom touchless gesture recognition platform for developers, allowing them to create and train touchless gestures that they can easily integrate into new or existing applications. Using our API essentially makes those applications touchless and interactive in minutes.If you want to try it for yourself, we will be launching our Leap Motion beta soon for Javascript and C#.Plus, clicking the puppy will take you to a survey for an exclusive discount. It’s so fluffy!Would you like to join? https://xesto.ioJoin our mailing list below for relevant content directly into your inbox. You can also find and engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay connected in the touchless world.[embedded content]
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