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LG teases ‘Minority Report’ technology for smartphones

Published Jan 23rd, 2019 6:50AM EST
LG G8 Release Date

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A report a few days ago said that LG would introduce a few interesting technologies at this year’s Mobile World Congress edition that kicks off in late February in Barcelona, Spain. The South Korean giant has been developing phones with secondary displays that shouldn’t be confused with foldable devices, as well as a new way of interacting with phones by using only gestures instead of touch. The phone’s camera would be able to pick gestures from 20 to 30cm away, the report said. It wasn’t clear at the time whether the upcoming LG flagship, tentatively named G8 ThinQ will make use of both a new screen design and the new touchless control, and LG won’t confirm any of it until MWC. But the company is already teasing the gesture-based interaction technology.

Ever since we saw Tom Cruise in Minority Report performing multi-touch-like gestures in the air in front of a computer to handle content, including images and videos, we wanted that technology to become real. Rather than use mice and keyboards, or touchscreen displays, to perform actions on computers and smartphones, a gesture-based interaction method would be even more convenient.

The company posted the following MWC 2019 teaser on YouTube, that hints you’ll be able to interact with elements on the screen, like text, without actually touching the display. “Goodbye Touch,” the text on that virtual sheet of paper says, just as a hand flicks over it to make the text appear and then go away. At the end, the hand dismisses the app with a swipe-up-like movement.

It’ll be interesting to see the technology in action. After all, that Minority Report technology would probably work better on computers than phones. Samsung tried something similar with the Galaxy S and Note phones many years ago. That was the Air Gesture… gesture that allowed you to interact with the display without actually touching it. But if the previous report is away, LG’s new gesture-based navigation would work from up to 30cm away.

In other words, LG may introduce a feature that nobody else in the business has, a new way of interacting with phones that bypasses touch completely.

Considering that LG choose this particular feature to tease its MWC event, it’s likely it’ll be built right into LG’s next flagship, the G8, as well as other smart devices,

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.