Flutter App Allows Kinect-like Gestures: Will Apple Begin Courtship?

  on March 29 2012 7:24 PM

Every year, the Y Combinator Demo Day gives startup companies an opportunity to pitch their incubated startups to the Valley's biggest investors. This edition brings more than 60 companies, and at least one of them is sure to make some waves: Flutter.

Flutter is a downloadable Mac OS app that turns your webcam into a Kinect-like ally, monitoring its field of vision for movement and interpreting gestures. Once a user installs the app, specified gestures can render the same results as key mouse or keyboard commands.

Raise Your Hand to Pause or Play a Song

Flutter does not have many uses for now, but the first ones work great with iTunes and Spotify, while YouTube and Netflix are next on the agenda. Users can pause or play a song simply by raising a hand, palm forward, between one and six feet from the webcam.

Sky's the Limit

According to Wired's Steve Levy, Flutter's co-founder Mehul Nariyawala said sky's the limit for the number of gesture controls Flutter could recognize and the number of applications that will support it. While Kinect measures movements that generally involve a great level of activity with arms and legs, Flutter detects gestures, noted Nariyawala. Eventually, the system could replace the old model of navigation, speculates Wired.

As Wired reports, Nariyawala considers Flutter a sophisticated application of computer vision breakthroughs pioneered by Flutter's CEO Navneet Dalal, who is the Tom Brady of computer vision.

How Will Flutter Make Money?

According to Nariyawala, Flutter will turn a profit by eventually licensing its technology to app developers willing to integrate it into their products. While this sounds plausible and has great potential, Wired's Steve Levy further speculates that acquisition is a good choice as well, and Flutter would make a great takeover target for Apple to take on Microsoft's Kinect.

Meanwhile, the Flutter app is currently available for download in Alpha mode at Flutter.io, and allows users to stop or play a song in Spotify or iTunes simply by waving their hands in front of the webcam. While it might get uncomfortable in a full office, the app can still offer an enjoyable experience and marks a milestone in the world of gesture control technology.

Check out the video below.

(reported by Alexandra Burlacu, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)

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