500 million VR and wearable devices will use gesture and motion interfaces by 2021

Gesture and motion will be the main form of input for millions of virtual reality (VR) and wearable devices by 2021, according to Juniper Resarch.

The new study has found that nearly all VR devices will utilise motion and gesture in the next five years, with 50 per cent of wearables integrating the input method. By contrast, less than 5 per cent of general smartphones and PCs will use gesture and motion in the same period.

The widespread arrival of motion control for smartphone VR in 2017 will, according to Juniper, start a shift towards ‘multimodal computing’ – using peripherals, motion and gesture control. To begin with, this will extend current functionalities which will hold back adoption across devices, unless user interfaces (UIs) are updated to best utilise the tech. 

Research author James Moar said: “VR and wearables have shown the way that gesture and haptics can provide fresh ways to interact with technology. The game changer for other platforms will be when technology firms are brave enough to reinvent their UIs to incorporate gesture and motion control, rather than considering it an optional add-on.”

Moar highlighted Leap Motion and Thalmic Labs identified as making significant progress towards the development of gesture and motion interfaces, but stated that more companies should follow suit and consider motion and gesture as more than a gimmicky form of input. 

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