Light Gestures is a technical prototype for a method of introducing emerging gesture tracking technologies in order to invite more natural interactions between you and your smart home, using lighting as a case study. It asks you to imagine clenching your fist towards a set of living room lights to turn them off, or making a "shh!" motion towards your smart speaker with your index finger to turn the volume down.
Timi Oyedeji believes that extraordinary moments arise when we start to utilise the most natural interface we have: our bodies. The initial experiments that he carried out explored a more magical side of what gestural interactions could look like, with a key focus on home lighting. Timi created an interaction model that would take a person's position into consideration, and as they flick their wrists toward a room, the lights would turn on in succession, almost as if an explosive energy had erupted from your fingers.
Timi Oyedeji wanted to put the gestural technology into the hands of everyday people. He experimented with setting up gesture-tracking hardware at various points across the space in his home, to try to understand what this technology could feel like if it was embedded in the bulb. Infrared cameras were used to track hand movements in real time and a machine learning system had been programmed to understand various combinations of gestures and responses through the lights in different ways. The gestures were directly linked to turning the light on or off, brightness control, temperature control and also mood mode, where participants could programme in their own gestures and have them correspond to certain colour modes.
'Learning through vast experiments leads to a great library of insights; these insights are often what go on to inform how to build tomorrow's technology for the most seamless integration to everyday experiences.'
In Timi’s ideal future he envisions gestural conversations being as seamless as starting and stopping conversations with friends. If gestural technology can start to build in these same cues from body language and orientation, designers can open up and avoid activation gestures but until then, they play a big part in whether or not you’re in conversation with your smart home product. Another learnt piece of tech, yet one that is a step towards natural interfaces.