Google has for years, been working to develop and perfect certain recognition technologies for use with multimedia (video, images, audio, etc...). Their speech-to-text recognition technology has improved vastly over the past several years (thanks in part to Google 411) and has been rolled out within YouTube for closed captioning. That being said, no one could have guessed that they would be far along enough to launch spatial recognition technologies for live video and that such technology would be used in order to improve user experience with Gmail vs. used to digest and index content.
In late 2008, Gmail launched the ability for Gchat users to connect their webcams for video chat. Today, they have added functionality using spatial recognition to help with motion gestures and the new product is dubbed, Gmail Motion.
"Our bodies did not evolve to sit at a desk in a rigid potion all day and it is my feeling that Gmail Motion will free the regular user from the constraints that modern society and our interface with our machines have put on the human body." - Lorraine Klayman, Environmental Movement Specialist, Nevada Polytechnic College
"When it comes to email, we still rely on outdated technologies like the keyboard and mouse... Using your computer's camera, and a spatial tracking algorithm, Gmail Motion interprets physical movement, and turns it into actionable commands." says Paul McDonald, Product Manager for Gmail.
As with any physical activity, there are certain safety precautions. Google advises that:
- First, make sure to clear the area around you.
- Second, try to take short breaks every 30-40 minutes, just as you would if you were typing.
- And finally, take time to stretch after each session to give the muscles you'll be using some relief.