We’re used to touch and voice to control our smartphones but when it comes to gestures and movement it’s a whole new ball game. Motion may be a very natural part of our everyday lives but understanding what gestures to use to turn on your TV or open an email with an app isn’t always intuitive.
And it doesn’t stop at smartphones. Many of the upcoming wearable devices rely on gestures to work, especially since this tech is more integrated with our bodies.
One of these devices is the Kiwi Move, a wearable that uses motion to control any smart thing in the growing landscape of the Internet of Things. The promise of the Move is to equip users and developers with a device and platform which allows them to configure a movement to elicit a specific action. In order to do this, Kiwi Wearables, the startup behind the Move, requires a robust motion library for these users to rely on.
Kiwi has made a select number of alpha devices of the Move available to developers to help them build out this library. But its recent launch of a motion library for smartphones aims to get them the scale they need to expedite motion learning by relying on devices that are already in the hands of developers and users while they prepare for the general release of its own.
Kiwi’s motion library is currently only available for iOS 6.0+ but the team told us that they have plans to release Android shortly. The library gives developers access to three gestures including tap, knock and wave to add into their apps. At a later date, this library will also give developers the option to train and record their own moves.
Kiwi gives some thought starters on its website, including being able to tap to take a picture, change the song with a knock or triggering a call in the rain with the wave of your device. But coming up with ideas on how to use these three gestures in an app is the easy part. The challenge for developers is to figure out how to make these motions a meaningful part of the experience so that they add value rather than just exist because they can. The flip side to this is experimenting with users on what gesture-based experiences are most natural and intuitive so that this type of input is easy and frictionless when in use.
Along with making the motion library available for download, Kiwi has also created a simple app called Tappy which shows how one of the gestures, tapping on the back of your phone, can be used to take a selfie.
Kiwi’s motion library is an interesting tactic which could result in some added value to existing smartphone apps while helping to forge the future for a wearable world. Developers that are interested in the motion library can download it from the Kiwi Wearables website. Kiwi is giving away an Xbox One to one of the first 1,000 developers to try its library out.