By 2016, Samsung TVs Could Control Your Home
Startup VTouch wants to bring its smart home gesture control tech to Samsung Smart TVs.
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A potential partnership between Samsung Electronics and a gesture control startup called VTouch could help make your "smart home" smarter, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. VTouch aims to bring a new software interface to Samsung's internet-connected smart TVs—one that can control all of your home's connected electronic devices and eliminate the need for remote controls.
The new interface takes advantage of a camera embedded in the TV itself. Rather than taking input from an infrared remote control, the TV can track hand, fingertip, and even eye gestures. According to VTouch founder Kim Seok-joong, the interface "drops the usage of cursors, allowing the user to point at objects that exist beyond the TV screen."
In other words, the TV cameras will be able to track and identify other "smart" objects in the home, including lights and stereo equipment. The actual details of this process remain undisclosed, but Kim says these TVs will be aware of where other smart objects are positioned in relation to the TV camera, and will activate them over a shared network when the user gestures towards them. One such function, suggests WSJ's Min-Jeong Lee, could be to turn the room lights on or off.
Already in 2014 we've seen plenty of competing smart home ecosystems, most of which are designed to work only with "compatible" devices. The interface proposed by Samsung and VTouch is a little light on details at this point, so it's difficult to tell whether it will be all-inclusive, or limited only to Samsung-branded electronics. Still, it does sound like an enticing offering, especially since it comes from the world's number one HDTV maker.