back to article LG's new gesture UI for mobes, while technically interesting, is still a little hand-wavy at the mo

There are a couple of reasons why air gesture interfaces haven't taken off – they make you look silly, and they're hard for phone makers to get right. LG has been having a low-key Mobile World Congress, but its most eye-catching feature has been an attempt to implement waving your hands about as a method of interacting with …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One to watch ...

    I called the current statis in smartphones 4 years ago (not that anyone was listening ...) with 2 exceptions.

    1) Battery life (yeah, still waiting for that one)

    2) Screen/UI design more adapted to older/less able users (because eventually age makes us all "less able").

    This is the first serious development looking at (2) I've seen. It may survive, it may not catch on. But it's certainly where I would look for innovation and investment.

    Incidentally, I still think (1) could be partially addressed by selling phones in pairs with a clever base so that taking one out activates it while putting the other one in charges it. It solves the issue of making a phone available 24/7.

    1. Barry Rueger Silver badge

      Re: One to watch ...

      This is the first serious development looking at (2)

      Unless you're one of those with Essential Tremor, Parkinson's, or other degenerative conditions. Call me old but I will happily abandon voice commands and waving for a couple of good old mechanical buttons.

  2. Dave 126 Silver badge

    > LG sells excellent TVs based on its own display panels – we expect a decent true foldable will appear eventually

    LGs OLEDs are excellent but their OLED phone screens were a bit dodgy in Pixel phones. The assumption is that the difference lay in TVs and phones using different substrates

  3. devTrail

    Gestures

    Every time I read about gestures I end up remembering The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

    Now all you have to do is wave your hand ... and hope.

    1. joed

      Re: Gestures

      Opera browser also tried this years ago and it did not catch on - nobody really cared to learn to cast spells when simpler "digital" interface accomplished most common actions without 2-nd guessing oneself. Similarly with iOS gestures - Apple keeps subjecting users to less predictable outcomes of more and more complex UI (but sometimes comes to senses and drops force touch).

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Gestures

        Mouse gestures aren't finger gestures, stylus gestures or indeed 3D space gestures a la Leap Motion.

        Your conclusion is reasonable though; the Leap Motion never caught in in a big way. The Reg's Mr Dabbs said he might take a look at one at the time, evidence toy didn't have the time or a test unit.

        1. Baldrickk Silver badge

          Re: Gestures

          Leap-motion tracking and gestures seem well suited for VR/AR. In the desktop space though, I think I'll keep by KB&M

    2. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: Gestures

      Maybe you need an electronic thumb?

  4. rcxb

    It's not enough that we get very little feedback from touching on-screen buttons on a smooth, flat screen... now we have to make sure you get NO FEEDBACK AT ALL by making you flap your hand around in empty air!

    On the plus side... fewer fingerprints on your display.

    Why with the dual-screens? Just make it a keyboard. Plenty of people out there waiting for the next Android slider to show up.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      It might be handy for people who use tablets in their kitchen for reading recipes, or for other situations where the user's hands are mucky.

      You can use foot pedals for iPads for 'turning over' virtual pages of sheet music.

      It's always tricky to sum up all the niche use cases. Indeed, some were doubtful about tablets themselves because they couldn't see a single killer app, yet what transpired was tablets were used for many niche things.

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Alien

        I am very interested in this intersection between people who buy the latest technological gadgets and people who cook in the kitchen using recipe books, rather than for example firing up the Deliveroo app to order a takeway pizza.

        I know people who buy recipe books. The salivate over the pictures in them, then order takeaways.

        I know people who cook. They don't own any recipe books. They use their iPads to have Facetime conversations with their grandchildren. Their iPads are video phones with big screens and don't get used for any other purpose.

        I know people who buy lots of technological gadgets. They don't cook, they order takeaways.

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    " air gesture interfaces haven't taken off – they make you look silly"

    I can't see that being any impediment to their use, they'd just become another set of group-identifying fads. The only real problem would be that they'd conflict with that other silly fad - talking at a mobile phone held flat in front of the user's face.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      I guess the idea is for people who have the phone lying on the desk next to the keyboard - they don't need to pick it up to e.g. answer on speakerphone.

      What interests me about the LG 8 is that it retains a 3.5mm jack and is IP68, and not too large. Now Sony is trying to flog TV sets as mobile phones I will need something to work with my headphones when the phone is on charge, and it looks like LG may be the only option.

  6. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    just one

    Really only need *one* hand-gesture for my phone. One to use for closing error message dialogues. You might call it the "digitus impudicus", or perhaps the "Hawaiian Good Luck Sign".

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