TV Control With Hand Gestures

The cell phones of yesteryear were covered in buttons. Today’s cell phones are mostly a touch display with maybe one or two buttons. As time marches on, we find ourselves using our fingers more for gestures and swipes than button pushing to control our devices. Sadly, the television remote has been stuck in an antiquated state and most are still covered in archaic buttons.

[Frederick] has decided to dig the TV remote out from the stone age and updated it to use simple gestures for control. We’ve seen gesture control before, but this one is certainly the most elegant. He’s using a Raspberry Pi with a Skywriter HAT gesture recognition board. The driver is super easy to install and can be done in a single command line. The Skywriter hat interpreters the hand gesture and the Pi fires the appropriate signal via an IR emitter. This approach made the project fairly simple to put together, with surprisingly good results.

Be sure to check out his blog for all code needed, and take a look at the video below to see the remote in action.


12 thoughts on “TV Control With Hand Gestures

    1. I see it as a question of front surface. If you want a screen as big as the front surface in a <=10mm thick phone than the touch screen is the only solution. Although real buttons are much more ergonomic. Therefore a prefer the different – and different feeling/looking – remotes on my table over using the smartphone as a remote. You can do it in half dark and it requires just one button press to change the volume. Not several slide – look – slide – look – touch operations.

  1. remote controls should have buttons – because usually when you are using a remote to control something your are looking at that particular thing you are trying to control – removing buttons from a remote control will force you first to pay attention where you press and after to the thing you are trying to control :)

  2. Regardless of the merit of buttons it is a very well executed project. I’m intrigued by the fact that the skywriter can be used through wood – I wonder how the range is affected.

    This could be used for all sorts of interesting furniture projects with embedded control.

  3. The side to side swipe for channel changing is cool, but multiple swipes for volume control? Very cumbersome compared to a single press and hold of a button. I would think a hybrid approach here would be better. when designing an interface, you should always use the control that is least bothersome to use. Perhaps why we still use buttons for remotes.

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