Human Remote-Control a new approach to digital technology

We’re quite used to moving our hands in different ways to control touch screens. We intuitively “tap”, “slide”, “swipe” and “zoom”. Such gestures have today become second nature and we use them daily. Now, with the Internet of Things, man-machine interaction will no longer be limited to touch screens and finger movements.

a new digital relation

Current trends aspire to making technology less visible. Increasingly, designs are being pared down for seamless integration into everyday items. Gestures have become a way of harnessing new capabilities made available through object connectivity. These new control techniques will make technology more discreet, enabling designers to devote more time to user experience and product appearance.

Items will become easier and quicker to control and use – no more looking for our smartphone, then for the right app from among the 30 icons displayed, then waiting for the app to open, then connecting to the object before finally being able to send the information needed to change a setting. From now on we’ll be able to use simple, intuitive gestures to activate basic functions of use in our everyday lives.


Some objects have already jumped on the bandwagon, like the SmartPEBBLE d’AwoX, a switch controlled by simple gestures (shake, turn, turn over, etc.) to turn on lights and change colours and brightness. Users can also program it according to preferences.


Another example is the SUGR Cube, for which you no longer need a smartphone to play music, pause or “like”. All that’s required is a few gestures. There is also an app allowing you to connect to its streaming service, activate a playlist, like an artist, and so on.


In the near future, we’ll find ourselves using gestures more often, in addition to rather than instead of our smartphone. Apps will still have their place for configuring newly-installed products and accessing more complex settings and personal accounts and dashboards.

Music, light, temperature, opening mechanisms… with this new trend for gestures we’ll rapidly become a kind of virtual remote-control. Tomorrow’s challenges will include simplifying these control gestures and making them even more intuitive and standardised to establish a single gesture-recognition norm.

All the examples provided in this article were discovered in our Digital Chillout. Subscribe now!

Simon Gomez

Simon Gomez

Digital Producer & Prospectiviste at Exoskills. After working at Publicis, this technology enthusiast blogger shares his vision of the new digital practices to spot innovations and opportunities of tomorrow.

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