Gmail Motion: Not So Far-Fetched

Whether it is Rick-Rolling millions of YouTube users or changing the company name, Google has always been an avid prankster on April Fools’ Day. This year is no different, as Google introduced a new motion-sensing program to be used with users’ Gmail account called Gmail Motion. The farce program was supposed to make ” for much more efficient human computer interaction,” according to the Google website.

Although the idea of a motion-based inbox seems ridiculous, motion technology has become quite popular over the years. Many companies have been creating products that push the envelope of motion technology to exponential heights. Let’s take a look…

Introduced in 2007, Apple’s iPhone has been revolutionizing the Smartphone industry with its accessible user interface and multi-touch screen. However, what really set the device apart from its predecessors was its internal accelerometer. The accelerometer, which is primarily used to rotate the screen position based on what angle the consumer is holding the phone, is also used in many apps, which use the technology for motion-based gaming and other features.

Another product that has been widely popular with consumers has been the Nintendo Wii. The Wii is a gaming console designed by the Japan-based company Nintendo that uses motion technology to add a level of interactivity never before seen in gaming. The Wii remote, which uses the same accelerometer technology as the iPhone, is designed to allow consumers to control their games through various movements and gestures. The system has been widely successful, selling over 35 million systems and being the console of choice for older and younger casual gamers alike.

Microsoft, however, has taken motion control technology to the next level. Their latest peripheral, the Kinect, for the Xbox 360 gaming console, provides motion-based gaming to the popular gaming system. What sets Microsoft’s hardware apart from the Wii, however, is that the Kinect uses no controllers. Much like Google’s fictional creation, the Kinect uses a camera and a motion sensor to detect the real movement of the player without the use of any additional peripherals. If Microsoft’s Kinect is any indication, the future of gaming (and maybe even all consumer products) is motion sensing technology.

Although Google thought it was playing a big practical joke on the world, we as consumers might get the last laugh. As technology continues to advance and companies continue to push the boundaries on what is possible, software like Gmail Motion might not be as far-fetched as it may seem.