AllSee: Battery-Free Gesture Recognition System for Electronic Devices

Gesture control for electronics could become an alternative to touchscreens and sensing technologies that consume a lot of power and only work when users can see their smartphones and tablets. University of Washington researchers have developed a gesture recognition system that runs without batteries and lets users control their electronic devices hidden from sight with simple hand movements. The low-cost prototype - called AllSee - uses existing TV signals as both a power source and the means for detecting a user's gesture command. The technology builds on previous work of leveraging Wi-Fi signals for gesture recognition around the home. For AllSee, the researchers built a sensor that can be placed on an electronic device like a smartphone. The sensor uses an ultra-low-power receiver to extract and classify gesture information from nearby wireless transmissions. When a person makes a hand gesture, it changes the amplitude of the wireless signals in the air. The AllSee sensors then recognize unique amplitude changes created by specific gestures.