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Macron: A Korean Gesture Recognition Startup Offering An Iron Man Experience
You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t envy Iron Man’s incredible set of gadgets. Which is why we are very excited about the possibilities of gesture recognition technology that could see us swiping our virtual computers just like the red and gold warrior himself.
Macron’s Virtual Mouse features control of a wide range of devices with bare-hand gestures. As a user moves his or her hand in front of the camera, the smart device’s built-in 2D camera tracks the hand movement, and a cursor on the virtual screen moves accordingly. A menu can be selected by hovering the cursor over the menu. The virtual mouse is a touch-less input solution for smart glasses, stand alone Head Mounted Display (HMD), smartphone-based HMDs and other devices with a built-in 2D camera.
“The Virtual Mouse has finished its development. We just need to collaborate with hardware manufacturers to apply the software to other smart devices like smartphones or HMDs. We’re planning to provide the Virtual Mouse and Foldable HMDs license to manufacturers, after negotiating the price.”
“There are many types of HMD in the market. Most affordable HMD are the ones made of cardboard at $20 USD, and Facebook-acquired Oculus available $350 USD,”says Macron Chief Marketing Director Eugene Choi. “We developed a pocket-sized ‘Foldable HMD’, that minimized lens distortion by multiple big sized lens design to maximize the user’s immersion. As for Foldable HMD, it’s still a prototype. When used together with our VR Gesture Player, users will be able to enjoy virtual reality easily”
The VR Gesture Player is a VR media player which allows users to IMAX experience when watching normal videos. “It is an intuitive application, and you can easily maneuver with your hand gesture,” Choi added.
Macron, the maker of Virtual Mouse, Foldable HMD and VR Gesture Player was founded in 2003, and the company started as an inspection equipment maker, using image processing technology. Undertaking project with ten team members of engineers focusing in R&D, the team came up with the gesture recognition technology.
“Current new features for smart phones have been focused on smart touch and voice recognition technologies. As for voice recognition, you need to be fluent in language to make the device know what you want. It hardly recognizes your voice if English is your second language,” said Choi. “Gesture monitoring is highly preferred since it does not require any sophisticated skills to maneuver.”
One of their products currently available in the market is G-Selfie, an application that takes pictures by tracking the user’s mouth shape, without pressing a button. Using its gesture recognition, users can take selfies simply by opening and closing their mouth, making a kissing lip shape or by hand waving. Similarly, LG’s G3 can take pictures by folding and unfolding hands.
“We put it up on Google Play, and users were amazed when G-Selfie takes pictures as it senses mouth shapes. We believe this can be used as an attractive marketing strategy for younger smart phone users,” Choi said. “We want to cooperate with Smartphone developers to deliver our software on Chinese smartphones. Any smartphone with 2D camera can use our solution.”
Other Gesture Recognition Technologies
One of the direct competitors in this sector is Israel-based startup Extreme Reality, specializing in creating a 3D effect using 2D camera motion analysis based on the skeletal position of an individual. US-based Leap Motion, a computer hardware sensor device, supports hand and finger motions as input. Leap Motion Controllers are now available for users at $99.99 USD, the company also provides VR Developer Mounts that makes it easy to attach Leap Motion Controller to a virtual reality headset.
Gesture and sound recognition is now a hot topic in the mobile industry. At the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona this year, ZTE Blade S6 featured Smart Sense – an intuitive and practical set of gestures and motion controls. California-based Qeexo first developed FingerSense, a patented sound recognition technology that knows whether you are using your finger tab, knuckle, nail or stylus to touch the screen. In wearables, Japan based 16Lab introduced a ring-shaped wearable device OZON which allows the user to control PCs, smartphones, tablets or other electrical appliances using gestures.
Image Credit: Macron