NEC gadget puts virtual controller on almost any surface


Technology titan NEC has unveiled a gadget that lets people control their TVs, mobile phones or tablet computers with a virtual input device.

NEC said a camera that tracks the movements of 3-D shapes will combine with a projector that could show the image of an input device — such as a keyboard — on almost any surface.

People can then gesture at the projected image to move an electronic file or play a video, with their hand movements relayed back to the device they want to control.

“Using this technology, multiple devices can be controlled based on a user’s movements, without the use of an input device, producing interfaces that boast more natural interaction,” a company statement said.

NEC said it hoped to develop the technology for use with devices without displays, including lights and air conditioners, raising the prospect of a home controlled largely by waving.