PointGrab and Sunplus team up on home automation

Software player PointGrab has teamed up with integrated circuits specialist Sunplus Innovation Technology on a new gesture control solution aimed at the global home appliances market.

The service will allow customers to control a range of home appliances simply by pointing at them, says PointGrab (Hod Hasharon, Israel), and is aimed at making home appliances easier to operate and consume less energy.

“Gesture control has been available on consumer electronic devices for a while now, so we are excited to partner with PointGrab, a leader in this field, to bring this experience to new markets,” said Chih-Hao Kung, the president of Sunplus (Hsinchu Science Park, Taiwan). “This collaboration will bring natural gesture control to the home environment and revolutionize the way consumers operate their home appliances.”

The companies say they are initially targeting lighting control and air conditioning manufacturers serving the residential and commercial segments.

The electronic modules they have developed allow appliances to be controlled by means of a physical gesture.

“We expect that in the next few years gesture controlled home appliances will be part of many households around the world,” said Haim Perski, PointGrab’s chief executive.

“Unlike other smart home solutions that can only be controlled via a mediator, gesture control for home appliances offers a much more immediate, natural and convenient experience around the house.”

PointGrab and Sunplus say the products available through the collaboration range from the PointSwitch v1800 – which includes smart-energy saving capabilities – to the “more affordable” PointSwitch v360, and will become available in 2014.

They claim products will operate in all lighting conditions and be capable of detecting human pointing at a distance of up to 15 feet.