The future of human-computer interaction is in gestures

That's what a recent study by Juniper Research says about the future of how humans interact with technology

The study claims, without a shadow of a doubt, that "gestures" and "motion control - Microsoft Kinect-style for short - "will become vital in the coming years for some forms of communication between people and machines."

The most impressive finding of the research is that the future is already (in part) our present. It will be, about 168 million devices that by the end of the year - in a more or less advanced and extensive way - use these technologies to interact with users. And among them are wearable devices, virtual reality viewers and much more. And if we continue at this pace, there will be as many as 492 million devices that work with gestures and motion control in 2020: a growth rate of 280%.

A gesture that changes the future

These are figures that leave no doubt: the way people interact with devices will change forever. The study points out, however, that this "revolution" will not happen automatically or uniformly. More traditional devices - such as smartphones and computers - will struggle to be accepted and less than 5% will include some form of gesture or motion control. It's a different story for virtual reality viewers because these technologies are literally at the core of how they work. The ability to monitor the movement of the hands, the head - the entire body - is critical for total immersion in this new digital dimension. Wearable devices - such as smartwatches and glasses - are also good candidates for the future of gestures and motion control. While their mini-screens or small touch-sensitive areas are a limitation today, it's only a matter of time before this hurdle is overcome through improved technology that controls motion and gestures.

The reaction of users and companies

(Taken from YouTube)

Juniper Research notes that "virtual reality and wearables have pointed to the way gestures and touch can provide new ways to interact with technology." Now it's up to companies to invest and users to accept this inevitable future. Companies such as Leap Motion, for example, are working to embrace this momentous change through a small device that can translate gestures into commands instead of using a mouse and keyboard.

By now, however, the keyboard and mouse will still continue to be the primary way to interact with computers, while the touchscreen is the way to use smartphones. The difference between what exists today and a Minority Report-esque future will depend on how many "brave" companies invest seriously in integrating gestures and motion control into their devices, and not just as an "option".

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