The brave new world of gestures

We’ve had phones you pinch and poke for years and it is now commonplace to wave at your games console to make it do things, but we may be about to enter a world where gestures are going too far. Mashable reports today that LG are to launch a phone where the video stops if you look away.

With Smart Video, the phone will recognize the position of your eyes, and automatically play or stop a video based on whether or not you’re looking at the screen. So, if you get distracted while watching the latest “Harlem Shake” video, it will stop; when your eyes return to the monitor, however, it will pick up right where you left off.

This follows hard on the heels of rumours that the new Samsung Galaxy S4 (launching today) will have a feature which allows you to scroll the screen by tracking your eyes as you read.

I can’t help thinking that this may be a step too far. Effective technology recedes into the background letting you get on with the job in hand – reading, watching video, whatever. And this is clearly the motivation for these developments in the hyper-competitive smartphone space. But it is not hard to imagine consumers getting more and more frustrated with phone which scroll just because your eyes get distracted or by video which stops every time you momentarily look away. Time will tell, but these two developments may just be a step too far.

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