PointSwitch Looks to Control Your Home with Hand and Eye Gestures

Is controlling your home with a smartphone too exhausting for you? Rejoice, then, as PointGrab is planning to launch PointSwitch, a home automation system based on hand and eye gestures.

PointGrab is preparing to exhibit PointSwitch at CES 2014, as if next month’s tradeshow wasn’t already awesome. Let’s face it, controlling your thermostats and light bulbs via an Android or iOS app is OK, but it somehow seems to be yesterday’s tech. Imagine how it would be to sit on your couch and dim the lights simply by pointing at the lamp and lowering the finger.

How would all of this be possible? PointGrab plans to install small sensors packed with gesture recognition algorithms into the devices that you intend to control. Since a lot of gestures could end up being misinterpreted by the sensors, the entire system comes with a trick. The sensors also read the position of your eyes and correlate it with the direction you’re pointing to. Assuming that the two directions correspond, PointSwitch will then proceed to interpreting your commands and turn them into actions. Still, I’m rather sure that there could be situations when the signs and their significations are not what the sensors believe them to be (don’t want to get into semiotics here).

PointSwitch can pick up your gestures from up to 15 feet away, regardless of the light conditions. In theory, at least, the sensors should be able to read your hand and eye gestures even in total darkness.


I’m just going to throw this out there, see if it sticks. What if these gesture-reading sensors would be used to watch each and every move that we make (and every breath we take)? That’s how it all begins. Offer people something they want or need, and then use the same thing against them to gather sensitive information. Yes, I’m looking at you, Facebook, but you’re definitely not the only one!

To get customers for their gesture-based home automation system, PointGrab needs to make sure that the product works perfectly. I really think that a piece of wearable tech could have provided better results. Something like a ring, you know… One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. I’m talking about your home devices, of course! Lamps, air conditioning system and other fixtures…

If you liked this post, please check the Cornflake house, which combines ultimate tech with a kitschy design, and the Sonte Film Wi-Fi digital shades.