We've seen a few examples of touchless, gesture-based interfaces for mobile devices, but it looks like Texas Instruments might be closer than most to making it a reality -- it's just announced a partnership with Extreme Reality (also known as XTR) on a new gesture engine and framework specifically designed for its OMAP 4 platform. The two companies actually showed off such a system back at MWC earlier this year (check out a demo of ti after the break), but they've only just now made the partnership official, and they're promising plenty more advancements to come -- including the ability to not only recognize simple gestures, but even things like whole body movements and two-handed gestures. Head on past the break for the complete press release.



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Extreme Reality (XTR) partners with Texas Instruments to deliver next-generation gesturing engine optimized for the OMAP™ platform

TEL AVIV, Israel, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Extreme Reality (XTR) announced today that it has partnered with Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) to deliver a touchless gesturing engine and gesturing application framework for mobile devices. This announcement builds on the vision that TI and XTR first demonstrated earlier this year at Mobile World Congress, as part of TI's natural user interfaces (NUI) initiatives. For more information on XTR, please visit www.xtr3d.com.

Touchless gesturing: realized

Camera-based, touchless gesturing technology will enable mobile devices to track and recognize human body gestures, in order to command and control different applications on mobile devices. The companies' joint approach uses a single, low-cost 2D camera, similar to what is used for video conferencing today, combined with a real-time motion capture software engine from XTR running on the OMAP™ platform from TI.

Using single- or multiple-finger gesturing, users can point, click, drag, scroll, zoom and rotate – all with simple hand movements that never even touch the screen. This touchless gesturing will enable applications such as: controlling a handheld device while walking; controlling a mobile phone while driving; as well as controlling a remotely placed mobile device such as in a docking station or next to a TV screen in the other side of the room.

To further this effort, TI has made an equity investment in XTR. As a result of this collaboration, the companies will deliver a cost effective and power efficient solution for touchless gesturing that is optimized for the OMAP platform, leveraging the unique hardware resources of the OMAP 4 processor.

"Touchless gesturing is one of the 'must-have' applications for the next wave of mobile devices. To that end, it's critical that TI choose the right partner who can leverage the power and performance of the OMAP platform with their expertise in order to make our vision a reality. XTR is that partner," said Avner Goren, director of OMAP platform strategy, wireless business unit, TI.

"XTR is a world leader in developing motion capture software engines that can enable new and exciting ways for humans to interact with devices in much more intuitive ways, from mobile devices to game consoles and TVs," said Dor Givon, CEO, XTR. "We are excited to partner with TI as it will allow us to offer a robust, high performance and low power solution, coupled with the tools needed for application developers to leverage gestures in ways that may exceed our wildest expectations."

The XTR software will be delivered as part of TI's NUI solution – from Smartphones to tablets to mobile consumer devices – coupled with TI's image signal processing and power management software. This software solution will be supported with a set of tools, allowing application developers and OEMs to easily access the gesturing library, as well as connect gestures to existing or future applications.

The OMAP 4 platform

Introduced in early 2009, TI's OMAP 4 processor is a powerful system-on-chip that includes an optimal balance of power efficiency and high performance. The OMAP 4 processor balances processing across four main engines: general-purpose processing based on the dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ supporting symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) and capable of speeds of more than 1GHz per core; a programmable multimedia engine based on TI's C64x DSP and power-efficient, multi-format hardware accelerators; a high-performance programmable graphics engine; and an Image Signal Processor (ISP) for unparalleled video and imaging performance.

To enable the complex, sophisticated user experiences of 2011, TI's OMAP 4 processor has the ideal balance of hardware elements enabling the right interfaces, including superior memory bus bandwidth that takes advantage of two concurrent data ports. It also has the processing power and flexibility needed to address the computational complexity of the algorithms required to support vision analytics.

Trademarks

OMAP is a trademark of Texas Instruments Inc. All other registered trademarks and trademarks belong to their respective owners.

SOURCE Extreme Reality