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Google Gmail Motion Beta

CmdrTaco posted about 3 years ago | from the i-got-a-gesture-for-you dept.

Cloud 104

PB8 noted that has been following all the kinect projects that have been floating around the net, and decided to use detection along with a rich visual vocabulary including common gestures and American Sign Language to accelerate your gmail time. This is going to require a bit of a change in my email composition since normally I use those to vent frustration.

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104 comments

Ahh april fools ... (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | about 3 years ago | (#35687858)

A day you don't even have to read the headline ... sweet.

Re:Ahh april fools ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35687880)

Yep, but although tech savvy people will spot this as an April Fools joke straight away I can imagine a lot of average Joe's falling for this one! :)

Re:Ahh april fools ... (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | about 3 years ago | (#35688258)

My earlier reply got eaten up somehow.. anyways.
Yea, I actually like this idea for a white paper/thesis/dissertation. While, it doesn't seem reasonable for text (unless you could sign faster than type), it does for speech (esp. video conferencing).

Re:Ahh april fools ... (1)

tom17 (659054) | about 3 years ago | (#35688336)

Off topic, but has slashdot put lots of dropdown list boxes in the article summaries today as some kind of joke? Or is something fubarred on my firefox?

I haven't read many articles yet so haven't seen anything about it. Sure I will soon...

Re:Ahh april fools ... (1)

tom17 (659054) | about 3 years ago | (#35688344)

Ahh nevermind. I should have scrolled down... "SlashTweaks Let YOU Micro-Edit Slashdot" *sigh* :)

Consolidate the stories (1)

BeardedChimp (1416531) | about 3 years ago | (#35687934)

Can we not place all the April fool jokes into one slashdot post with the appropriate links. Otherwise we end up like last year with 10 stories spamming the front and anything interesting being pushed out of sight.

Re:Consolidate the stories (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | about 3 years ago | (#35687982)

It's April the first, nothing interesting happens today. You don't publish serious news because it gets lost in the swamp. Wait til the third if you want interesting stuff.

Re:Consolidate the stories (1)

wjousts (1529427) | about 3 years ago | (#35688016)

Yeah. I hate April Fools day.

Re:Consolidate the stories (1)

babywhiz (781786) | about 3 years ago | (#35688092)

Then please, don't browse the wow forums... *snicker* AFD on the web is akin to Super Bowl commercials...in my world....

Re:Consolidate the stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35688218)

Perfect day to be caught in a scandal.

Re:Consolidate the stories (0)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 3 years ago | (#35688288)

That's why April 1st is also known as "we all switch to arstechnica day". Not all of us think All Fools' Day is an excuse to spend the entire day clowning and goofing off. So until tomorrow, slashdot...

Re:Consolidate the stories (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 3 years ago | (#35688512)

Isn't reading slashdot in general "clowning and goofing off". Unless you can justify "staying up to date on the world of technology" as part of your job, which I think most of could kinda do, but would just get told to get back to work!.

I do agree with the sentiment though. I wish they'd at least intersparse some real stuff (it may even add to the humour of the fake stuff).

Re:Consolidate the stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35688942)

Ever notice the different slashdot sections? Yes, they all look more like "Idle" every day, but the original idea was to accommodate the studious as well as the frivolous . Some of us do still primarily come here to learn and share knowledge. I know, "get a life", right?

Re:Consolidate the stories (1)

Kwpolska (2026252) | about 3 years ago | (#35688576)

Switch to Ars? And get rid of over nine thousand RSS entries messages per second? Awesome!

Also, the “modded” release of this post (gesus wants to make use of kinect time-wasting on moron detection) is AWESOME.

Re:Consolidate the stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35689474)

Sounds like a browser failure or possibly PEBKAC. Ars works just fine for me in firefox on linux.

Re:Ahh april fools ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35687942)

Careful what you laugh at, with all the duplicate submissions /. just might be going the "choose your own adventure" route with news.

Re:Ahh april fools ... (2)

AvitarX (172628) | about 3 years ago | (#35687990)

The drop-down editing still doesn't allow me to do worse editing than the norm though.

Re:Ahh april fools ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35689680)

I actually stole 3rd base while watching the video.

Re:Ahh april fools ... (1)

swilly (24960) | about 3 years ago | (#35690044)

On normal days, people don't read the articles, but do read the headline and about half of us skim the summaries.

On April Fools, we don't even go through that much effort.

Reader productivity on slashdot has never been higher!

Oh joy (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 3 years ago | (#35687870)

I *so* hate April Fools' day on the internet.

Really the "fake news story" thing stopped being funny about 1992...except for The Onion, they still do a good job at it.

Re:Oh joy (3, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 3 years ago | (#35687906)

So, would The Onion's April Fool's joke be to publish an actual, true news story?

Re:Oh joy (2)

snowgirl (978879) | about 3 years ago | (#35688026)

So, would The Onion's April Fool's joke be to publish an actual, true news story?

No, publishing reality-consistent news is a Conservapedia April Fools joke...

Oddly, I'm not joking [conservapedia.com] ...

Re:Oh boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35688154)

I don't know what that link is meant to be owing to never going to Conserveourpedos, but I get a 403 forbidden.

What the link says for people that can't see it (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | about 3 years ago | (#35688352)

It's a wiki history diff show:
'''[[Barack Obama]] finally produces his birth certificate!'' [[April Fools]]!

Re:Oh joy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35687924)

does the onion do real news today?

Re:Oh joy (2)

Ancantus (1926920) | about 3 years ago | (#35688020)

Ahh, lighten up. Its one day that the whole world decides to be a little more silly. People are being creative, corny, and just having a good laugh. If anything its a nice stress release!

Re:Oh joy (1)

smelch (1988698) | about 3 years ago | (#35688120)

People are not being creative, just corny and blatant. Neither of which are a good laugh. Do something to fool people or don't do it at all. April fools on the internet is like watching a 3 year old try to reconstruct a joke they heard. Annoying and not funny as they clumsily fail to get even one component of what makes a joke right. I suspect you have brain damage.

Re:Oh joy (1)

delinear (991444) | about 3 years ago | (#35688206)

Oh I dunno, I found the Google Motion stuff mildly amusing - especially their representation of how to create pie charts by having three people position their arms in sync to create the slices. That and the "easy" flowcharts that require you to bust a move on the desk.

Re:Oh joy (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 3 years ago | (#35688320)

We actually pulled a pretty successful April Fool's stunt today. Some of us convinced a fellow worker in the shop to forge shackles and chains from scrap and we installed them at all the desks in the office. A few people were even good enough sports to wear them for photos.

Re:Oh joy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35688948)

Some people are just wound way too tight here, relax, you don't have to criticize everything mainstream, being negative is not the cool thing to do anymore.

Re:Oh joy (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#35689172)

People are not being creative, just corny and blatant. Neither of which are a good laugh.

Have you read what passes for funny around here? We're still on BSOD and flying chair jokes. The only real difference with today (which has been an annual tradition for at least the 10 years I've been lurking around here) is that the lame jokes are above the comments section.

In other words: Shut up. If it bothers you so much, go set your calendar to remind you on March 31st 2012 that you want to spend the day outside.

Re:Oh joy (1)

smelch (1988698) | about 3 years ago | (#35689276)

Excuse me for wanting a little mystery and romance and nuance to my April Fool's jokes instead of a dump truck worth of poop slathered all over the internet. I'm in favor of stronger, foolier (as in making a fool of people, not making a fool of yourself) jokes today. We need a modern day war of the worlds.

It's people like you who ruined pictures of cats doing funny things.

Re:Oh joy (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#35689318)

Excuse me for wanting a little mystery and romance and nuance to my April Fool's jokes instead of a dump truck worth of poop slathered all over the internet.

Sorry, I didn't realize this was your first year on the internet.

Re:Oh joy (1)

swilly (24960) | about 3 years ago | (#35690070)

I have identified a few categories of properly done internet April Fools jokes.

1. Subtle jokes that could be plausible or which you wish were true. Thinkgeek has few good ones. Angry Nerds is also nice.
2. Corny and blatant jokes that have had a large amount of effort put into them. Google is good with this. Youtube and Hulu this year falls into this category. (Or so I've heard. I can't check Youtube at work.)
3. Unexpected silliness. I was working with Dokuwiki when their website changed yesterday. I got a laugh out of it. Past examples of this done well was Ponies! and the Geocities XKCD.

See how many you can identify!

Re:Oh joy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35688024)

I'm sorry you've become so jaded. Or crotchety. Or grumpy. But I, for one, welcome our April Fool's joke wielding overlords. Heck, it is funny. Relax and enjoy. Bask in the humor.

We're trying to take it off the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35690856)

We introduced 1866-TO-HURRR which allows you to post to banniNation.com threads without even needing a computer. We might keep it around actually :)

Great innovation (5, Funny)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 3 years ago | (#35687894)

I've been giving Outlook gesture commands for years, but it has never responded. Perhaps with this new competition, and their ownership of kinect, Microsoft will finally support gesture commands.

Re:Great innovation (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#35688866)

I realize that this is a prank, but I think it shouldn't be. The only aspect of it that's actually ridiculous is expecting people to pay that much money for the interface or creating an interface that few people can use. The idea behind it would be great for people that just need to read their email, but not actually type anything.

Re:Great innovation (1)

CrispyZorro (1809948) | about 3 years ago | (#35689970)

Yeah, but what would Outlook do? It would probably respond by holding its breath until it turned blue. Although, that's probably why you were gesturing to begin with.

Re:Great innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35690386)

Most of the gestures I give Outlook happen when the UI locks up and it becomes unresponsive, so I doubt gesture recognition would work all that well.

Spanish (1)

Saija (1114681) | about 3 years ago | (#35687904)

Does this new technology supports writing Spanish emails?

Re:Spanish (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35687946)

Only if you learn spanish gestures...

Italian? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 3 years ago | (#35688326)

God help us all if they implement an Italian version of this.

Re:Italian? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#35688700)

I'll forgo the obligatory joke about handcuffing an Italian to keep them quiet and just mention that there is a great deal of actual research being done in gestural input by using sign language gestures.

Re:Spanish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35689046)

If you dress up like a matador

Opera did it first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35687918)

http://labs.opera.com/news/2009/04/01/

Re:Opera did it first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35687964)

And too bad it was only an April fool's joke, because if it were available i'd totally use it.

Fake but some fact behind it?! (1)

Rovastar (822365) | about 3 years ago | (#35687938)

Obviously you say April Fools however the best jokes are based on some fact and the fact is I know of at least 2 senior and talented devs that worked on MS Kinect project and around release time jumped ship to Google.

eg My old friend Ryan Geiss is one who co-wrote the skeletal tracking for Kinect is now at google.
http://www.geisswerks.com/about_natal.html [geisswerks.com]

pay attention to the "gestures" in the video... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35687958)

They were pretty clever...notice a "curtsy" is interpreted as

Great one this year, Google!

I know it's April Fools, but... (0)

snowgirl (978879) | about 3 years ago | (#35687968)

That is NOT American Sign Language... it's a joking mockery of sign language...

Re:I know it's April Fools, but... (1)

coolmadsi (823103) | about 3 years ago | (#35688414)

Would it look like sign language to someone who didn't know sign language? It only needs to be vaguely passable to be plausable before the viewer catches on that its a joke. Kind of like the old BBC program that had pasta growing on trees being harvested, it only had to look somewhat realistic (which some people actually believed I think).

Re:I know it's April Fools, but... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | about 3 years ago | (#35691012)

Would it look like sign language to someone who didn't know sign language? It only needs to be vaguely passable to be plausable before the viewer catches on that its a joke. Kind of like the old BBC program that had pasta growing on trees being harvested, it only had to look somewhat realistic (which some people actually believed I think).

The Spaghetti tree hoax [wikipedia.org] . Yes. But TFA doesn't claim that it is ASL, that's almost my point. TFS is adding to the joke.

RTFA. They know it's not ASL. (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#35688456)

That is NOT American Sign Language

RTFA. They know it's not ASL.

it's a joking mockery of sign language

It appears that this experiment is in an ad-hoc sign language designed to be understood by those outside sign-speaking subcultures [wikipedia.org] , not unlike the home sign [wikipedia.org] used by deaf children of hearing adults. The article implies that they plan to add translation from ASL in a future release, including a quote from someone in accessibility who is "eagerly awaiting the next version with ASL".

Re:RTFA. They know it's not ASL. (1)

snowgirl (978879) | about 3 years ago | (#35691002)

That is NOT American Sign Language

RTFA. They know it's not ASL.

RTFS, that's the one I was complaining about. But you are right, TFA got it right.

A bit mean isn't it? (3, Interesting)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about 3 years ago | (#35687994)

A device that could translate ASL into text could be very useful to people who know ASL, and a great training tool for those who don't.
This is like having a headline, "Exoskeleton lets paraplegics walk all day, just $5000", then when people click on it, saying "April Fools!"

On the other hand, if this inspires someone to create just such a product, then more power to them.

Re:A bit mean isn't it? (1)

JohnnyDanger (680986) | about 3 years ago | (#35688152)

But ASL has different grammar and syntax than spoken English. It's closer to signed French.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Sign_Language [wikipedia.org] versus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Sign_Language [wikipedia.org]

Re:A bit mean isn't it? (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about 3 years ago | (#35688790)

True, but Google language tools can translate French, so why not ASL?
Anyway, I'm assuming that ASL is faster, and has less carpal tunnel risk than using a keyboard, so if you know ASL why shouldn't you be able to use it for computer input?

Re:A bit mean isn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35688310)

The Google page doesn't actually mention American Sign Language apart from one comment at the bottom that said something like "I can't wait for the ASL turbo boost edition". Maybe I spent too many of my formative years winding up trolls on IRC, but I interpreted that as a reference to the common query you see in chat rooms rather than a dig at an official sign language.

Re:A bit mean isn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35688528)

It's actually already been worked on and currently so. I'm a researcher at the University of Texas in Arlington, and that's the exact project that I'm on - creating an "ASL Dictionary" where you perform some sign, and the program shows you the signs that it thinks you did, along with correlation videos for you to double check. The goal is if we can get the right word in the Top 10 of the results returned, its a success.

Before the Kinnect, we only had so-so accuracy due to hand tracking and shape issues, relying heavily on skin detection and motion and using Dynamic Space Time Warping to do our correlations. Very sloppy and, while some results turn out great, others do not come out so well.

Now we've been toying w/ the Kinect. Thanks to its IR cam, we have near perfect hand location accuracy, and are currently working on "hand shape recognition" algorithms. Already there is improved accuracy (as the hand detection is now 99.7% accurate and growing), and hopefully with figuring out how to resolve hand shapes thanks to now knowing depth, this very well could be a program that could be utilized by the deaf in the near future.

Hooray cool research!

Re:A bit mean isn't it? (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | about 3 years ago | (#35689412)

What do Age/Sex/Location have to do with gesture reading e-mail systems?

Spend time with teenagers, dance or date much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35690180)

Interpreting certain gestures, behavior, etc. at various locations correctly may be essential to successfully propagating the species or having a social life.

Re:A bit mean isn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35689508)

But presumably someone who can perform the movements of ASL can also type, so the technology wouldn't be overcoming any real limitation, unlike in your example.

April Fools jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35688050)

April Fools jokes are only funny when they actually have a chance of tricking you.

Charades beaten (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35688078)

They've also inadvertently solved charades!

Fun! (5, Funny)

Lifyre (960576) | about 3 years ago | (#35688104)

Oh this would be fun! I could flip off my email and have it automatically respond to the spam email I get! Either that or have it solicit more penis enlargement ads...

omgracism (1)

wildstoo (835450) | about 3 years ago | (#35688116)

I can't believe the blatant racism Google is showing here. Clearly, this technology should have been implemented to recognize standard Nicaraguan Sign Language [wikipedia.org] instead.

Be assured, I will be writing a stern letter to my Congresscritter.

Ok... (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | about 3 years ago | (#35688130)

...that's enough with the April's Fools Jokes. Can we actually get a real story on the front page at some point today? Also, am I alone in thinking that these sorts of "jokes" are completely pointless at this point? I mean, everyone expects it and can spot them from a mile away. Isn't the point of an April Fool's joke to, you know, fool people?

Re:Ok... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35688680)

To the haters: You can't win. If you mod me down, I shall post a whiny reply complaining about the downmod but do not much else

FTFY

Re:Ok... (1)

rikkards (98006) | about 3 years ago | (#35689088)

Unfortunately not. It was supposed to be a way of early Christians to ridicule Pagans as it corresponded with the Spring Equinox. Anything after that is just an evolution.

Re:Ok... (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | about 3 years ago | (#35689426)

Can we actually get a real story on the front page at some point today?

I think my favorite part of April Fool's Day is watching people on Slashdot bitch about April Fool's Day. In answer to your question, no, you will not get a real story on the front page today. ;)

Hrm, not a very good idea. . . (1)

Knightlymuse (626563) | about 3 years ago | (#35688174)

I just imagine someone indulging in their vast p0rn collection while composing an email.

Dear *wack* *wack*

I would like to *get off* work early today. My friend is *cuming* to visit.

Give it a rest guys... (1)

VendettaMF (629699) | about 3 years ago | (#35688196)

Unsubtle, unfunny and utterly unlikely to fool anyone sentient enough to have learned to read.

Really, what is the point? If these are the best you can manage, then just don't bother.

Gmail Motion (1)

tronkel (1128393) | about 3 years ago | (#35688198)

This Gmail Motion idea could be utilised in various places in the Internet - not only Google sites E.g. on porno sites (.xxx) there is the possibility to use a sort of regular sliding motion (using the left hand in a closed position around the well, you-know-what!, to give feed-back to the site as to its (the site's) effectiveness. Don't let Uncle Steve Balmer catch you at it though. He might think that you have a thing about Google and might start yelling Developers! Developers! Developers! (again)

Joking Aside Might be Useful (1)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | about 3 years ago | (#35688200)

I caught a couple of people out with this today.

Then I thought about it.

Actually this would be useful especially with something like the xbox kinect system or a webcam.

E.g. Doing something like cooking and "virtually" turning pages using motion capture via the webcam.

I enjoy cooking and trying to use my notebook to read through a recipie while my hands are covered in dough is no fun.

It's a matter of time before someone does this for real.

Lady talking with her hands (2)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 3 years ago | (#35688302)

In the video, you a see a lady who gestures a lot with her hands while talking. I kind of expected a subtitling of what her hands said while you heard her talking.

Pretty lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35688436)

Google's April Fools jokes are getting lamer every year.

Google Drivel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35689620)

Instead of wasting time on this drivel why don't they fix their buggy Android apps.

We should definitely do this (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | about 3 years ago | (#35689674)

Deaf / mute people need speech recognition software, too! Where's Dragon Naturally Signing?

As an aside - is it rude to sign with your hands full?

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