A U.S. start-up company that develops human gesture recognition software has been acquired by Google.
Flutter gives users the ability to control popular apps like Netflix and iTunes using a series of simple hand movements and a webcam. Google is, however, yet to release any information regarding the deal.
Speaking to the BBC, Glyndwr University’s Richard Picking, an expert on human-computer interaction, expressed uncertainty over gesture-recognition technology. He said that whether or not it became the norm depended on the extent to which it could be personalised – and whether or not people embrace it.
He went on to add that it could be useful for the elderly or the disabled.
Similar technology is already being implemented in a range of platforms. Launched back in 2006, Nintendo’s seminal Wii console had motion technology as its crowning feature and was met with huge commercial success. Its competitors have since adopted similar features of their own – Microsoft’s Xbox with Kinect and the Sony PlayStation 3’s Move.
Additionally, a number of smart TVs have allowed for elements of gesture-detection technology, and the Galaxy S4 smartphone has its Air Gesture feature, with which users can scroll through newsfeeds and browse the web.
Navneet Dalal, Flutter’s co-founder and an ex-employee of Google, announced the acquisition on the Flutter website. He said the company is “thrilled” to be continuing its research under the Google banner, and is excited to be backed by the web giant.
It was also confirmed that Flutter’s current app will, for the foreseeable future, be supported.