Everyday Experiments

Everyday Experiments

How will tomorrow’s technologies redefine the way we live at home?

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Light Gestures

Screenless Interfaces
Gesture Tracking
IoT

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What if your hand gesture spoke to a light fitting?

Built by — Timi Oyedeji

Timi is a multi-disciplinary Design Technologist from London. My work, which often sits in the spaces between interaction design and design engineering, aims to reinvent the way that we approach interactions in the home. By utilising emerging technology, I hope to bring smarter, more meaningful everyday experiences to reality.

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.

'For too long, we’ve had to adapt to using unnatural ways of controlling our home environments, with the Light Gestures experiments I wanted to introduce technology that finally starts taking non-verbal cues from us.'

—Timi Oyedeji

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.

'For me, it was a game of creating the perfect mix of gestures that would be easily read by the system, whilst also creating a playful visual dialogue from the lights as they flash back as if to say, "I’m listening now."'

—Timi Oyedeji

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.'

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Behind the scenes look at the gesture recognition at work

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.

Everyday Experiments is a project by SPACE10 & IKEA.

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Everyday Experiments

Everyday Experiments

How will tomorrow’s technologies redefine the way we live at home?

Watch The Film

Browse Experiments

00:00 / 00:00