'Breath-controlled' technology is IT world's new baby

'Breath-controlled' technology is IT world's new baby

The technology called Sensawaft, which is still in its infancy, has been developed by a US-based company —– Zyxio. According to the firm, if things go as planned, the new technology will be used by as wide a range of gadgets as possible, including manufacturers of aids for disabled people, as well as hands-free mobile phone makers.

Sensawaft is powered by micro-electromechanical systems, tiny chips that can be embedded in other devices, such as a video game or hands-free mobile phone headset, The Telegraph reported.

Deal prospects

The company said it was in talks with a major video games console manufacturer, about licensing the technology to take video games to another level.

The most likely customer is Microsoft, which owns the X-Box console and which has invested heavily in motion-sensitive technology with its Project Natal. Celine Vignal, the Co-Founder of the company, said “You can move a cursor or character around a screen with as much accuracy as a finger moving a mouse,” adding “We think the possibilities are endless. It even has potential for the military and factory assembly workers, who need to use both their hands continually, but would benefit from another functionality.”

The technology was showcased recently at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and on the demonstration product, users could breathe into a headset to move a cursor around the screen.

The headset, resembling a Bluetooth hands-free device, contained four small sensors. To move the cursor across the screen, users needed to move their breath from right to left or up and down, as if they were blowing a tiny imaginary ping pong ball across a table.

Mainstream success

Gadget experts were fascinated by the technology, but most were doubtful that it would take off on mainstream products.

Kat Hannaford, contributing editor to the Gizmodo website, said: “It is certainly intriguing and I can see it has enormous potential. “But for it to get any traction it needs a major manufacturer to adopt it. And do video gamers really want to be huffing and puffing away into a headset? I am not so sure.”

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