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University of Washington computer scientists have created a low-cost gesture recognition system that runs without batteries. They call it AllSee, and it uses ambient TV signals as both a power source and as a means to identify a user’s gestures. 

Txchnologist has reported on earlier battery-free, wireless sensors produced by the team. Their latest advances refine the concept and show that they can use an ultra-low-power receiver to analyze changes to nearby wireless signals caused by hand gestures. They equipped a smartphone with the receiver and changed the volume of music with a gesture while the device was inside the user’s pocket.

Their system costs less than a dollar to produce and consumes microwatts of electricity, meaning it can remain on and enabled. They say their sensor can also be embedded in other electronics to enable gesture control through body motions.

See the video below.

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