When we mentioned Gmail Motion last week, we of course were referring to Google’s annual April Fool’s prank. Gmail Motion is an imaginary new Gmail feature, which Google claimed allows you to control the email client by performing specific (often silly) gestures in front of your webcam.
However, researchers at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies decided to take Google seriously. Calling Gmail Motion “buggy”, they created their own version of Gmail Motion in response to Google. Known as the Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit, or FAAST, this specially-designed system uses Microsoft’s Kinect sensor to detect your body’s gestures. You can open an email by mimicking opening an envelope, reply to an email by throwing back your thumb, and send an email by “licking a stamp” and slapping it on your message.
USC’s FAAST technology goes beyond one-upping Google’s Gmail, though. The FAAST software is available for download for free and has been used for numerous rehabilitation treatments. One YouTube commenter remarked that the technology could even be beneficial to the deaf community.
Take a look at FAAST in action:
More info: FAAST Project @ USC ICT…