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Microsoft rumored working on Kinect-style interface for Windows Phone

updated 11:19 am EDT, Mon June 9, 2014

Mid-air hovering, tapping of tiles, gesture control said to be coming to Windows Phone soon

Windows Phone could soon allow users to interact with their devices without pressing an onscreen button, claims a report. Kinect-style features such as navigating by hovering a finger over part of a display may in fact form part of the experience of a rumored Nokia device codenamed "McLaren", set to be launched and released towards the end of this year.

The Verge suggests McLaren, first leaked by @evleaks, will be a successor to the Lumia 1020 with a sizable camera bump on the rear, though it will also have a number of sensors on the front face for its "3D Touch" system. Interacting with the screen is only part of Microsoft's plan, with typical gestures including answering the phone by raising it to an ear touted to make an appearance, as well as some more unusual gestures.

Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020

The system will apparently enable users to hang up on a call by placing the phone into a pocket, dismissing alerts and notifications by waving over the screen. It is also suggested the phone will be able to detect the way the user is gripping it and changing the way it is used, such as retaining the same orientation if it detects the user is lying down, while swiping fingers down the side of the smartphone will control the zoom function of the camera.

The report also points to earlier stories by WP Central, with a new MixView interface allowing for tiles to be tapped down by hovering the finger in the air and tapping down without touching the screen. Hovering in the air above some tiles will allow it to "explode" with other tiles to each side, offering more information or ways to interact with a contact, for example.

Microsoft is not the only one interested in using gestures and other methods to navigate a smartphone without touching the display. Samsung included its "Air View" hovering system in the Galaxy S4 and some later devices, while Amazon's rumored smartphone is said to have a 3D interface that uses tilting gestures instead of swipes or taps in order to open up extra menus.

by MacNN Staff



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