If you know The Karate Kid, then you are well-equipped to control the TV of the future. Wax on, wax off. Sand the floor. These aren’t just good defenses against someone sweeping the leg, they’re also examples of the hand gestures you’ll someday use to change the channel on your television set. Today we sat down with Canesta (previous coverage), a company that develops 3-D sensors that allow consumer electronics devices to “see,” for a demo of how a remote-less, gesture-controlled TV works.
In the video below, Canesta CEO Jim Spare shows off what the actual sensors look like and explains how they work (and also tries to quell any conspiracy theorist concerns over TV cameras watching you). Canesta’s manager of partner programs, Chris Dunlap, provides the actual, err, hands-on demonstration to show how, from across the room, you can motion to do things like move through menus, play content and mute the volume.
Don’t look for this technology to arrive in your home anytime soon. Hitachi has announced a gesture TV set using Canesta, but according to Spare, it’s not scheduled to hit the market until the end of 2010 at the earliest.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Canesta was founded in April 1999, has 30 employees and has raised $58 million to date from investors including Carlyle Venture Partners, Honda Motor Co., Hotung Capital Management, Korea Global IT Fund, Venrock and others.