Apotact Labs has recently revealed a four-fingered ‘glove’ called Gest that is designed to allow users to control any attached computer or mobile device using just their hand gestures. The Gest controller is fashioned to accommodate any shape or size of hand by means of a flexible palm strap and 4 adjustable finger attachments. Each glove has 15 sensors including accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers, which are commonly found in mobile devices. The specially-designed software makes the device very sensitive even to small finger motions and is designed to get to know just how each user moves his or her hands by producing a customized configuration distinct to each user. By adjusting the software program to each individual, the device is able to provide a very high degree of precision for all types of hand movements, even small finger twitches. The company has indicated that its first application will be for Adobe Photoshop with initial devices exhibiting 5 standard motions. For instance, pointing at the computer display permits you to position the computer’s mouse anywhere on the screen, while turning your hand readjusts Photoshop’s sliders, and 3D objects can be revolved by ‘grabbing and rotating them’. The device hooks up to just about any device that has Bluetooth, and is recharged with a Micro-USB interface. Apotact Labs also demonstrated the Gest controller working as a keyboard interface, but users will have to wait for this feature as it is still only in the experimental stage. Gest was just launched on Kickstarter and is expected to be delivered to early enthusiasts by late 2016.
Microsoft has just announced the latest version of its health and fitness wearable, the Band 2. Compared with the 2014 model, the fresh take on the personal gadget is more capable and feels much more comfy on the your forearm than its predecessor, but comes with a higher price tag. The Band 2 is challenging the other major players in the wearables market (Apple, Fitbit and Jawbone) especially when it comes to battery life, claiming that the Band 2 will last 2 days under normal use. As with the previous version, the gadget works with Windows, Android, and iOS operating systems. One of the most noticeable changes to the new model is that it has a much sleeker appearance than that of its predecessor, with a screen that curves around the wrist strengthened with Gorilla Glass 3 and a wristband that is much softer. As for the incorporated tech, whereas the first Band had a decent set of heart rate and step monitors, the new unit also includes an atmospheric pressure and elevation sensor that is useful on hiking treks. In addition, the Band 2 is fitted with a monitor for VO2 Max, which is an advanced metric of fitness that normally requires costly equipment to compute. The Microsoft Band 2 also supports a wider range of smartphone apps when it comes to their alerts and it even has a shot-tracking capability for golf enthusiasts. Speech support for Cortana, Microsoft’s electronic smartphone aide, has been added too. The company says that the Band 2 will be in US shops by the end of October.