A computer science student has used the famous Doppler effect to control a computer using only hand gestures, making a website that allows you to try it out.
The Doppler effect, named after Austrian physicist Christian Doppler who proposed the theory in 1842, is a well-documented phenomenon in physics that causes a change in the frequency of a wave as the source moves closer to the observer.It is the science behind satellites, speed cameras and sirens and now Daniel Rapp, a Swedish computer science student, has shown how it could potentially be the future of computer navigation.
The idea of using the Doppler effect to interact with your computer using just a microphone and speakers was originally explored by a Microsoft research team in in 2012.
The technique itself is fairly simple: an inaudible, high-frequency tone is emitted by your speakers. When the soundwave reflects off moving objects (your hand), the frequency shift is interpreted by the microphone and recognised as a gesture by the computer.
The Microsoft team were successful in using a wide range of gestures that included scrolling, taps, pinches and rotation. However, the science was never really seen as anything more than a supporting act for the company’s Kinect sensor, which uses camera technology to detect movements.
So long as you have a working microphone and speakers in your laptop, and you’re running Google Chrome, you can scroll up and down the page, play a Theramin or just watch the computer track you waving your hands around.Reuse content