Canonical gets physical with Ubuntu Linux

From the ‘Desktop Control‘ files:

All of us are used to controlling our desktops with a mouse – but what if you could control your desktop with your body?

It’s an idea that Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu Linux has been thinking about recently. The general idea is that a ‘user-aware’ desktop could respond to physical actions – yeaah we’re talking real gestures here. So say for example if the desktop detects that you are farther (or closer) from the screen, you’d get fullscreen (or normal screen).

“During a small exploration we did internally few months ago, we thought about how Ubuntu could behave if it was more aware of its physical context,” Canonical developer Christian Giordano blogged.“Not only detecting the tilt of the device (like iPhone apps) but also analysing the user’s presence. I reckon there is a value on adapting the content of the screen based on the distance with who is watching it.”

No, we shouldn’t expect to see this show up in the October Meerkat release, but it is a really interesting idea.

When a desktop is aware of its user, I can imagine all kinds of interesting scenarios. It could mean displays that are always in the proper focus to simple stuff like better screensavers.  It could also lead to true ‘Minority Report ‘ type displays where computer mice are obsolete and all you need to control and access your data is your body. Welcome to the future my friends.

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