singlecue Gen 2 an interesting development with gesture control.
When we first purchased our Xbox One, we added on the Kinect so that we could control not only the Xbox with it but also the rest of our entertainment system. Kinect allows you to do simple tasks like start up the Xbox and turn up the volume simply by speaking to it. The Kinect works off of a microphone/camera set-up and it can be a little temperamental. If it doesn’t hear you, the command won’t be recognized. So, we turned to singlecue Gen 2, a gesture recognition controller.
singlecue Gen 2 was developed by eyeSight Technologies, the leading provider of machine vision, sensing, and gesture recognition technologies. singlecue is actually the first hardware product that has been made available directly for consumers and it’s purpose is to provide touch-free interactions to digital devices. Our main purpose with singlecue Gen 2 was to interact better with our entertainment center.
The singlecue Gen 2 system consists of the controller, which looks like a small sound bar with an LCD screen, its power adapter, the mobile app (Android or iOS), and you. The overall build of the controller is very good. It’s made of some heavy duty composite material and the stand is flexible so that you can wrap it around a TV screen if you so desire. From the start, I liked the fact that the device was simple by itself. No complicated hookups – just a power cable. Most of the set-up actually occurred within the app and dealt with us learning how to gesture to the singlecue Gen 2 camera.
Once you get the singlecue Gen 2 controller powered on, you pair it to your mobile phone and then add it to your WiFi network from your phone’s network settings. Once it’s all connected, you then add the devices – TV, home theater, cable box, etc. – that you want singlecue to control to it. This is very similar to the set-up you would experience with a universal remote control. Once you are past this set-up step, you will enter the tutorial phase. This learning module takes some time to get through. I suggest that you take your time because practice makes perfect. Not only do you have to memorize what gestures do what, but you also have to memorize how to do them perfectly. What’s nice about the app is that once you get past the initial set-up, you can go back and review the tutorial or user guide within the app. After the tutorial is complete, you are on your own to gesture away.
Testing out and using singlecue Gen 2 was a bit different than I expected it to be. It was hard. Like I said, it takes some time to get the gesture control down and in the mean time, you sort of fumble through it and suffer some frustrations in the process. I did find it to work well once I got over my learning curve. With the Xbox Kinect, we find ourselves sometimes yelling at the device just so that we can get the TV to mute or the DVR to pause. It makes for a less than enjoyable TV watching experience. With singlecue Gen 2, we can simply put a single finger up to our mouth and the show goes silent. It’s refreshing. I did find that singlecue Gen 2 has its own set of quirks, though. It has to be able to see you. So, if you are sitting just out of its line of sight, you will end up completing the same motion over and over again until you are at just the right angle.
I really like the ease of setting up singlecue Gen 2, but still found myself reaching for a standard remote control in the end. I love where gesture control is going and am looking forward to future improvements to the system. Control of gaming systems and additional smart devices is coming soon. For people who like the convenience of Xbox Kinect, singlecue Gen 2 is a step in the right directly.