Google Launches Gmail Motion: A Way to Control Gmail With Your Body

By Tracey E. Schelmetic April 01, 2011

Nowadays, technology is always looking for a way to become ever more interactive. Think about touch screens, and newer video gaming consoles that allow you to control the action of the game with your body (think Wii or Microsoft's Xbox 360). Cool, aren't they? They're nothing compared to what Google is announcing today. The company is debuting a new way to control your Gmail with just the movements of your body.

The mouse is so outdated, says Google. They've got a point.

“The mouse and keyboard were invented before the Internet even existed,” said Google on its blog. “Since then, countless technological advancements have allowed for much more efficient human computer interaction. Why then do we continue to use outdated technology?”

That's a good question. Almost as good as why people keep using fax machines, despite the fact that they should have gone into obsolescence along with parachute pants and Flock of Seagulls hairdos.

According to Google, Gmail motion has a number of benefits. It's easy to learn, using simple and intuitive gestures. It improves your productivity, allowing you to get “in and out of your Gmail” about 12 percent faster. And the best? It combines Gmailing with physical exercise, allowing us chair potatoes to get a little physical activity.

What could be better?

Gmail Motion uses your computer's built-in Web cam and Google's patented spatial tracking technology to detect your movements and translate them into meaningful characters and commands. Movements are designed to be simple and intuitive for people of all skill levels.

There are a few safety precautions, Google warns, just as with any physical exercise. “Using Gmail Motion is not only safe but also healthy and fun,” said the company. But “as with any physical activity, certain precautions are recommended. First, make sure to clear the area around you. Second, try to take short breaks every 30 to 40 minutes, just as you would if you were typing. And finally, take time to stretch after each session to give the muscles you'll be using some relief.”

Ready to get started? That's too bad. Because it's Google's April Fool's Joke. But it's still a pretty good idea, we think.

Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

TechZone360 Contributor

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