You’ve seen it in the Samsung S4, Lava Iris 504q, in HP’s Envy 17 laptop and Intel’s PC games at CES 2014. More and more companies are eyeing gesture control. In fact, the sensing and gesture recognition market is set to surge and reach $15.2 billion by 2018. Eyeing a piece of this pie is New Delhi based startup IntuGine Technologies and their gesture control device which can be wound around a finger.
A startup founded by five IIT Kharagpur students, IntuGine Technologies, has developed a skin-friendly ring shaped device called Nimble which facilitates gesture control in a computer.
Nimble is a device that claims to control your PC from as far as 15 feet away. Using motion sensing technology, the company claims that users can use the device to draw, paint and even access applications on the computer.
“We will be disclosing the patent pending technology soon. For now, I can tell you that we are using a specialised USB sensor that can track tiny wearable ring like devices (Nimble) with sub mm accuracy,” says Harshit Shrivastava, Founder & CEO at IntuGine.
The patent for Nimble has been filed at both the Indian and international levels and could take anywhere between 6 and 30 months to be granted. The company assures that shipments will not be affected by the grants of patents.
IntuGine had made initial investments of Rs 2 lakh into product development and are now looking to raise funds and approach investors as they enter the manufacturing/launch phase.
“For large scale manufacturing, we are importing components and then assembling in India for copy protection,” said Harshit. The company has currently developed the product prototype and is in the process of finalising manufacturers and plan to start manufacturing for B2B and B2C products in India.
Nimble which is set to retail at Rs 5,500 a piece including taxes and shipping fee will be delivered directly to customers upon ordering. While pre-orders for the product have already begun in India, pre-orders from abroad are set to launch in a month.
IntuGine also says that they have also made developments in terms of software. “We have manufactured some initial pieces using a 3D printer and have tested them thoroughly. On the software front, we have already integrated more than 20 applications including counter strike, NFS Most Wanted, Presentations, Music Player, virtual drums, Angry birds, Fruit Ninja, basic windows OS etc,” says the IITian.
While the product currently only functions against PCs, the startup is looking to customise the product for integration with laptops, smart TVs, gaming consoles. In the future, they plan to develop solutions for simulators used in training and also in computer aided design.
“Next, we will be coming with the products for gesture control in Smart TVs and Home automation. We are working on intuitive interaction with digital world, artificial Intelligence and virtual reality,” said Harshit on IntuGine’s plans for the future.
The company has already received more than 50 pre-orders for B2B usage. Those who have placed orders include organisation from the Indian Army, MNCs in electronics and PCs and game developers.
IntuGine is looking at developing products for Smart TVs by mid-2014, and have also developed a special version for making presentations. “Users can swap the slides, highlight, point and write, control media and feed their own gestures. You may find this version installed in some Universities in a couple of months,” Harshit explains.
The company maintains that they are very different from fellow motion sensing technology firms like Cube26 who has already provided gesture control to smartphone OEMs in India, and Leap Motion. IntuGine claims that the two companies have a limited set of gestures and controls and features as compared to Nimble.
“We are the first company to introduce accurate finger tracking over a range of 15 feet. While the Leap Motion controller is limited to a range of 2 feet and frequently loses finger tracking, we provide a totally different experience with more than 5 times the range and much robust tracking,” said Harshit comparing Nimble to industry leader Leap Motion.
Leap Motion, which powers gesture control in the HP Envy 17, has placed its offering for $79.99 and is said to be precise up to around a hundredth of a millimeter in capturing intricate motion.