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CES 2013: Intel shows off gesture controls for gaming, and improved WiDi

CES 2013: Intel shows off gesture controls for gaming, and improved WiDi

Gesture controls have been around for some time, but the few computers we’ve tested with them failed to impress us: Gestures weren’t always picked up, and the motion was very jerky. At CES, Intel demoed software that it says will let developers integrate better controls into their apps, so they can move beyond the simplistic Windows 8 controls of scrolling, raising volume or opening or closing applications.

The new gesture software also works with games. It will let you use your hands to move your avatar in a game or create a virtual hand in the game that can grab things. As the photo shows, the demo looked promising as the virtual hand appeared in the game and moved to interact with the characters. Since the software recognized individual fingers, the user could even grab and release onscreen coins.

The software is still under development. Products based on this technology should appear in the middle of the year.

Intel’s Wireless Display (WiDi) has also been around for awhile. With a TV and laptop that both have WiDi, you can wirelessly transfer whatever appears on your laptop’s display to the TV. Intel said that the new version it was demonstrating had improved performance with less lag time between the two displays than earlier WiDi versions.

Intel also demonstrated a new HDMI adapter that lets you run a WiDi app on your computer, Android phone or tablet and “flick” the image to any big screen TV. That adapter should be available later this year.

Check out the rest of our CES 2013 coverage.

—Rich Fisco

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