Gesture control removes many obstacles from interacting with technology. Controlling equipment becomes natural and fluid, making presentations more engaging and allowing presenters to focus on the content instead of the controls.
Fostering adoption of gesture control of computing environments is Oblong Industries. The company was recently honored with a Red Dot Award: Product Design 2019 award for its The Optical Wand. The “remote” is designed to be used for gesture control of screen content.
The Oblong Optical Wand allows presenters to interact with and manipulate data-rich and highly visual digital content in immersive display environments. Because the wand’s position is tracked in three-dimensional space, users can engage directly with displayed content through intuitive gestures and motions. The wand is an expression of the spatial computing philosophy and human-centered design approach that since the beginning has been central to both hardware and software development at Oblong.
The weight balance and curvature of the wand allows it to nest comfortably in the user’s hand. A four-button and touchpad control layout provides users with full power over their digital content. The wand-tracking ecosystem includes patterns of infrared beacons discreetly installed around display areas. An optical sensor embedded within the wand works in real time to visually track these patterns around displays and triangulate the location of displayed content.
“To meet the levels of creativity and productivity demanded by today’s complex business world requires rethinking our interaction with digital tools,” says Oblong CEO John Uderkoffler. “The wand is at the heart of Oblong’s philosophy about spatial UI and empowers users to collaborate in a way that’s radically more capable and intuitive.”
The Red Dot Award: Product Design is one of the world’s largest design competitions. In 2019, designers and manufacturers from 55 countries entered more than 5,500 products in the competition. The international jury comprises experienced experts from different disciplines and has been convening for more than 60 years in order to select the year’s best designs. True to the motto “In search of good design and innovation”, their assessment focuses on criteria such as the level of innovation, functionality, formal quality, longevity and ergonomics. The winners will be celebrated at a ceremony in Essen, Germany on July 8, 2019.