There doesn’t seem to be many practical uses for a gesture sensing dock unless you are hyper anal about fingerprints and smudges, but it is interesting to see Kinect-like sensing technology being used with the iPad. Elliptic Labs will be demoing the accessory at CES 2011 next month, but it’s unlikely to hit the market anytime soon.
The dock uses ultrasonic sensors to detect movement up to one foot in front of it, and can be used on the iPhone and iPod Touch as well as the iPad. Though, the gesturing only supports the basic 6-axis of movement from within the proprietary app, so it is of limited usefulness at this time.
“The idea is that you use touchless gestures to operate primary functions of a docked tablet in situations like when you have wet or greasy hands in the kitchen. In general tablets are made for being handheld. When it is docked you are often walking or standing further away, and then using a finger on the screen involves a change of modality. Rather than bending down, leaning forward or picking it up you can use larger movements a little bit further away to do things like volume up or next song without changing modality.”