uMoove: Control Your Phone By Moving Your Head

uMoove is a small company in Israel that has been working on technology that uses your phone’s front-facing camera to control what happens on the screen. It tracks your eye movement and head movement to control things like scrolling, drawing, opening and closing Apps, and just about anything you now use your fingers to do.

Today, uMoove started allowing people to sign up on its website as beta testers.

uMoove says its patented technology tracks and identifies gentle head and face gestures in real time on any mobile device. They’re releasing a developer kit to third party developers so the functionality can be incorporated in any app on any device.

Imagine reading this article and as your eyes move down the screen, the article automatically starts scrolling up so you never have to pause to manually scroll. That’s one of the things uMoove delivers.

Flees, a game available from the App Store, incorporates uMoove so you can control the main character’s moves to the left and right based on where you look at the screen.

According to The New York Times, one of the founders of uMoove had the idea because of a relative with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a nerve system disease that causes gradual paralysis. It’s the disease afflicting Stephen Hawking. uMoove’s founders decided to develop technology for people with limited mobility, and it turned out that the functionality makes sense for anyone with a head.

Israeli startups focused on motion control have a good track record. Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360 was initially developed by PrimeSense another tech company in Israel. The founders of uMoove are also working with Microsoft to build the head and eye control into Windows 8.

At first uMoove’s head control will be built into iOS and Android Apps. Eventually the technology will be built into computer monitors and TVs too.