Ask the Board – March 9, 2020 | RALPH SCHORBACH


“Does gesture control really have a place in digital signage, or is it a flash-in-the-pan trend?”

Gesture control has potential in the future with cellphone usage and gaming devices relying on some aspect of it, or in my opinion, gesture control can also be part of an augmented reality environment without the goggles. Will it grow to be the next big thing in digital signage? Maybe, but I’m not holding my breath. Many of you have had a gesture experience, typically in an environment by moving into a projection zone with interaction. This will make waves or rings or objects move in the projection area or race against someone along an LED video wall. But interaction on a one-to-one experience… I see that as a bit more challenging in a personalized “about me” digital signage environment.

To make sure we are on all on the same page, I thought I would start with a definition of the term “gesture control.”  Gartner defines “Gesture Control” as the ability to recognize and interpret movement of the human body in order to interact with and control a computer system without direct physical contact.  Extending the term a bit further as “natural user interface” …  is becoming common to describe these interface systems, reflecting the general lack of any intermediate devices between the user and the system.

I see gesture control as kind of a fun fad for general interaction, not sure where it is going to take us as user-specific engagement.  Unless a system can really focus, the interaction one-to-one, which seems hard in public spaces, or try going with oral communication, including all the background noises, I don’t know how it can take a strong hold. As frustrating as Siri or Echo is, he/she can take commands to make life easier and quickly solve redundant tasks.

Car technology seems to be making the greatest in-roads into the gesture world for infotainment systems and under-the-hood applications.  Waving at the dash to raise the volume, climate control or change the appearance of the dash … just seems a bit foreign to me. What if you leaned over to reach something or sneezed and the controls change something critical? On the other hand, it could be fun joking with others in the car by doing some random motion and say “I didn’t touch anything.”  I haven’t really tested the car systems to see how it works, but could be interesting, especially if it is “near” touch, which is same as touch but staying a few millimeters off the screen. That means no more fingerprints or smudges to look at, and there might even be some health benefits to it.

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IT Manager

End User Council

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