Touchless gesture controls on phones? Think bigger

By Lauren Goode

Last week in New York City, Samsung formally announced its Galaxy Note10 smartphone. As is typical at these kinds of tech events, attendees were able to get some hands-on time with the new wares. In just a couple of minutes, I had swiped and smudged up the brilliant screen, checked my teeth in the phone’s iridescent casing, drafted an AR doodle for which I had no particular use, and waved a tiny wand in the air to control the phone’s camera app.

That last action represents a growing trend in the land of smartphones: gesture controls. Instead of touching your phone with greasy fingers, you’ll soon be able to wave your hand or pinch your fingers in the air to make stuff happen on the phone, never making contact with the touchscreens we’ve become so accustomed to. In Samsung’s case, these actions require holding a tiny wand that doubles as a stylus. But LG Electronics has also been experimenting with gesture controls in phones, and Google plans to roll out a radar-based gesture control technology in its upcoming Pixel 4 smartphone.

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