Control iTunes with your hands (or feet)

In the film Minority Report, Tom Cruise waves his hands about in front of a giant computer screen in a vision of how we will use and control computers in the future. FluidTunes, might not be quite on that level but it does allow you to control iTunes solely by using your hands or whatever else you might choose to wave in front of your iSight camera.

FluidTunes

It’s an interesting application that works with varying degrees of success depending on how you calibrated it from the start and how near or far you are away from your iSight camera.

On initial setup, it seems pretty impressive. “Wow”, I thought, “I’m actually controlling the Mac with my hands” although it soon became apparent that the results could be very erratic. As you try to scroll towards one album or another, you inevitably scroll way past it because the controls are so sensitive. Looking for Terence Trent Derby one swipe too far with my right hand ended up landing me on Nat King Cole – that’s one hell of a jump in my iTunes collection.

The important bit is the initial collaboration test. It basically involves waving your hands like a lunatic until the play button lights-up to inform you that calibration is complete.

FluidTunes 2

The problem is FluidTunes magnifies whatever your iSight camera is seeing so you have to move considerably back from your Mac for your hand movements to register properly. The result is that you can end up sitting 3 feet away from your Mac waving your hands around like you’re trying to taxi a plane onto a runway.

In the end, it seemed to me that FluidTunes has a mind of its own and it would take the subtle hand gestures of a black belt in Tai Chi to stop it from selecting whatever album it wanted and playing it. Still, it’s the closest you may ever come to being Tom Cruise – if the prospect has ever grabbed you.

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