During the last couple of years, we witnessed increasing popularity of the next kind of input – touch interfaces. This was the crucial moment when developers were starting to think of new and intuitive interfaces and ways to control your computer. One of those, which seems like a scene from a science fiction movie, is entering information and controlling your computer by motion gestures, which you can do by moving your hands through the air. This not only provides better user experience, but it can be a real time-saver in many cases, as you’ll see in this review.
One of the applications which is based on hand gestures (also known as “motion gestures”) is called Flutter. This is an application which lets you control a music application by positioning a hand in front of the monitor (in front of the webcam, to be exact) and by making a certain gesture. Flutter was first released on Mac OS X and you can find it in the Mac AppStore. Even though you can also find a Windows version, Flutter for Mac is a bit more advanced since new features are first being developed for Mac OS X. It works with iTunes, QuickTime, Spotify, VLC and MPlayer X (only with the latest versions).
Currently, Flutter support three gestures. There’s an “open hand gesture”, which stops and plays music, and a “thumb pointing gesture”, which plays previous/next song. In order for Flutter to recognize these gestures, you’ll have to keep them one to four feet away from the camera, which gives you plenty of space. According to BotSquare, a developer company which is the creator of Flutter, more gestures are on the way and should be released very soon. One of those which could be really helpful is the ability to change the volume, which is one of the most requested new features. Recognition of these gestures work very well, but you’ll need some time in order to learn how to avid accidental inputs.
Interface is quite small and simple and it’s consisted of a drop-down menu which will be located in the top of your screen. This is where you can take a gesture tutorial, which is needed in most of the cases, in order to learn how to use this application. You can use this menu to turn off the camera, to make it auto-start on login, or to help developer by reporting a mistake. Since Flutter needs webcam in order to recognize motion gestures, this might drain a battery on your laptop, so it’s a good thing that you can turn it on only when you need it.