New Gadget Allows Any Object (Even a Cat) to Act as TV Remote Control

New Gadget Allows Any Object (Even a Cat) to Act as TV Remote Control
Fotolia/ Karelin Dmitriy Tech00:33 03.10.2017(updated 03:58 03.10.2017) Get short URL863922

Attention all ye couch potatoes! A new gadget could finally do away with the tragedy of not being able to find the remote control.

Created by scientists at Lancaster University, Matchpoint is a system that allows users to turn any object, including your cat, into a remote control, just by making a motion towards the system’s webcam.

According to researchers, after selecting the pointer of choice, the user can adjust the volume, change the channel or even fast forward whenever a certain Sarah McLachlan commercial pops up on the telly.

​”You can use any type of body part of any object,” Chris Clarke, study author, said in a statement. “Unlike other systems that look for a specific body part or object, it just looks for any generic motion.”

But the fun doesn’t stop at using a random object as an almighty wand, officials say. This nifty technology even works if you’re following a recipe on YouTube and your hands are completely full.

“Our method allows for a much more user-friendly experience where you can change channels without having to put down your drink, or change your position, whether that is relaxing on the soda or standing in the kitchen following a recipe,” Clarke added. “You could even change the channel with your pet cat.”

Cats aside, for Clarke, Matchpoint is also about reaching all TV lovers, including those with disabilities.

“They might not be able to use their hands to interact,” the Ph.D student told Wired. “It sounds silly but most gesture device systems rely on you having hands in the first place. The Matchpoint system doesn’t make any assumptions of the user.”

Though the findings are still in the early stages, and require a few extra functions, researchers will present their paper on the system at the User Interface Software and Technology 2017 conference in Canada late October.