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Using Your Phone Camera to Control Via Gestures



Nokia released an app called Air UI for the Nokia N9 or N900. It lets the user control their phone using “simple gestures over the front camera without actually touching the device,” meaning you get Nintendo Wii or Xbox Kinect style control of your phone.

When I found out about this through a friend who’s one of the few Nokia freaks out there, I did a search in the Android and iOS app stores. I didn’t expect to find anything in the iPhone app store, but I was wrong. AirVox promises to let you control your music using gestures over the camera for only $2.99. Last year we heard rumors that this was coming to iOS 5 or the iPhone 5 or the iPad 2/3/4/5 etc..

The Android Market offers an app called Gesture Controlthat does the same thing as Air UI and more than AirVox for free.

Gesture Camera App

Gesture Camera App

My question: Does anyone really want this? The idea is cooler than the practical application. It feels kind of Minority Report-like to be able to do this, if it works. I just doubt that I’m going to want to. With the advent of Siri on the iPhone, this becomes an obsolete idea. Why not just tell your phone to play the next track or increase volume or pause? The voice replaces the waving hands.

I’d love to hear if any of our readers use any of these apps, and if so let me know if you think it’s a great method of cell phone control.

[poll id=”34″]



  1. Alex Morla

    12/03/2011 at 10:39 am

    This reminds me of the Google gestures control parody that they posted on their website a couple of months ago. I wonder if someone can find a link to it?

    • Alex

      12/03/2011 at 8:45 pm

      It was Gmail motion. Hilarious!

  2. Anonymous

    12/03/2011 at 9:13 pm

  3. Mike Pluke

    12/04/2011 at 12:04 am

    “Why not just tell your phone to play the next track or increase volume or pause?” – possibly because the person sitting next to you in bus, train, restaurant or other quiet public place might want to kill you to get you to shut the f… up!

    Voice interaction in public can only seem like a good idea to selfish people who have no respect for the annoyance they wil cause to others. Also don’t forget that Siri will stop working in the noisy environment caused when every selfish idiot starts blathering away to their iPhones!

  4. Anonymous

    12/04/2011 at 6:58 pm

  5. A Ubtu

    01/06/2012 at 6:02 am

    the Air UI works well. I use it just to demonstrate what other uses of the camera there are… but if i want to change a song, i just tap the screen instead.

  6. Per

    09/04/2013 at 8:27 am

    I have an old samsung s3 with broken display. I could use it as dedicated htpc and control it using gestures without leaving the tv sofa.

  7. [email protected]

    10/19/2015 at 11:53 pm

    I would love to use tablet as gesture recog device to control other devices, software on other machines. Possibly integrate with oculus rift for manipulation of objects in v.r. or just plan cool “hackers” movie or minority report style pc use. i mean it really would be badass.

  8. [email protected]

    10/19/2015 at 11:54 pm

    wow, way to be way out of date and rez the shit out of dead subject… lmao

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