EyeSight Technologies, a startup which specializes in machine vision, user awareness and gesture based interfaces, launched a very interesting home accessory yesterday, one that highlights a world of possibilities for a next-generation Apple TV.
They’re calling it the OneCue and it aims to connect and control your Apple TV, or other media streamers and smart home devices for that matter, using hand gestures akin to Microsoft’s Kinect with the Xbox One.
Supporting a plethora of TV sets, cable and satellite boxes, media streamers and AV receiver, the OneCue can turn on multiple smart home devices (i.e. TV, cable box and stere receiver) at the same time with the swipe of a hand or point of a finger.
The gesture control device ties your whole room together without a single cable. The OneCue has a three-inch LCD display, a camera that records your movement, a speedy processor and built-in WiFi (802.11b/g/n) and Bluetooth 4.0 low-energy networking.
The jet black gizmo takes full advantage of touch-free interaction to effectively replace the remotes and apps that came with your TV, cable box, DVD player, AV receiver and a gamut of other smart home devices.
Wave to wake up multiple home devices chained together. Slide your fingers left or right to cause the Onecue’s menus icons to sweep by, it’s that easy. To initiate a tap or a mouse clock, close and open your fingers twice.
And to mute all your home devices in one fell swoop, just bring your index finger to your lips to invoke a cool shushing gesture. The video below shows off the OneCue in action.
Like a universal remote control, the OneCue can be “taught” to control other devices such as IR-controlled blinds, power switches and even power outlets. And because it has built-in Wi-Fi networking, the OneCue can even control smart home accessories like the Nest learning thermostat and the Phillips Hue light bulbs.
There’s also built-in InfraRed learner and transmitter, an internal speaker and a Micro-USB port on the back. And with its small footprint measuring 9.24 inches wide, 1.93 inch tall and 1.12 inches deep, this ambitious gadget disappears under your big screen TV quite easily.
Indeed, why would anyone juggle remotes as opposed to taking advantage of a central control with a single interface that the OneCue provides?
Eagle-eyed readers could point out that Apple last year snapped up PrimeSense, the company behind Microsoft’s Kinect technology, perhaps indicating its intent to add motion gestures to a future Apple TV iteration.
You can pre-order yours at theonecue.com. The OneCue will be priced at a rather steep $199 when it arrives in early 2015. If you pre-order early, you’ll get it for a lower $129 price. The home accessory will ship with a 5V power supply and an adjustable mount allowing you to clip it on the top edge of a TV set.
From my vantage point, devices like the OneCue chart a path to a brighter future for Apple’s $99 media-streaming box. In fact, should the next Apple TV hardware refresh introduce a set of similar features for controlling a wide range of home appliances by making hand gestures, that alone is going to file as a worthwhile upgrade.
[EyeSight Technologies PR]