If you've ever been alone in a friend's living room and decide you want to watch some TV the big challenge is finding the correct remote control to get the thing started. It's even more fun when you've mislaid the control and are virtually helpless without it.
But soon all this will be history and remote controls will be one more example of obsolete technology to tell your grandchildren about (see a list of other rapidly disappearing gadgets, Ten tech items you won't be needing anymore). Gesture control is hot technology and will very soon be helping you link up with your TV, computer and mobile, as reported in a BBC article, Touchless smartphones and TVs could be on sale in 2012. Motion capture technology is already established in Microsoft's Kinect and Nintendo Wii but now an Israeli company XTR3D is getting noticed for developing gesture control using 2D cameras to enable us to control our TVs, computers and mobiles by just waving our hands. Screens can be controlled from up to 5m with simple gestures enabling you to choose functions, flip between photos, scrolling a list or enlarging an image.
Here's a quick publicity film of what's in store. One advantage is that you don't get the screen stained with sticky fingerprints.