Pantech points the way

South Korean handset maker Pantech is lining up to be one of the first to commercially deploy a gesture-based user interface (UI) on smartphones.
The vendor is installing gesture recognition technology from Israel-based eyeSight in its latest Vega LTE Android smartphones, which are due to hit stores later this month. In doing so it will beat US chip giant Qualcom, which is developing a gesture control technology for release in 2H12 or early 2013.
Functions Pantech’s customers will be able to access using the gesture control include call handling, activation of music players, and gaming. eyeSight claims its technology is well placed for applications where users might not want to touch their mobile’s screen, for example while driving or cooking, and also claims benefits for users wearing gloves.

While interest in gesture control grows, it faces a stiff challenge from voice-activation. Apple is heavily backing voice control with its Siri software, while Nuance recently added the expertise of Android specialist Swype to its portfolio of text-to-speech technologies.