Professors from HPI are working on a mobile control device based on human gestures. Even though the use of gestures to control systems have been tried by various scientists, it is the first time it is mentioned as something belonging to a mobile phone. And the challenge lies in making the technology simpler and more in-cooperative with mobile systems.
To me, that’s a fairly good news as I am always not comfortable with touch screen (see this). Using gesture without touching the screen is truly a good news to me.
However, as the technology is not new, the challenge of this idea would be how to make it applicable and how to find out practical problems and solve them. What I can think of is robustness: identifying a gesture is much more ambiguous than an accurate touch. And also I wonder how gestures can be used in some controls like typing text, playing games and browsing web pages. If the use of gestures is limited to some simple primitive controls then it would make little sense. One good idea is: user can customize gestures to control their own cellphone. This could serve as something like a security solution.
Anyhow, I am looking forward to seeing the progress of this technology.