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Can't Grab Your Phone? 'BrainWave' Reads Hand Motions to Control Music

"BrainWave actually uses less power than Facebook on your phone ... "

Brainwave

Sometimes it just isn't convenient to touch your phone.

Picture this: you are elbows-deep in flour and dough, baking goodies for the neighbors down the street. Or you finally found time to tinker with that engine and you've got grease-lined fingers. While knocking out these Saturday afternoon chores, your phone is cranking out some tunes to keep you motivated.

Then an annoying song comes on. What to do? Take time to wash your hands quickly just to avoid another few bars of Bieber? Or suffer through a few minutes of pop blather so your smartphone remains goo-free?

Enter BrainWave, an app that will solve this particular first-world problem with the wave of a hand.

brainwave Brainwave allows users to control music on their phone, tablet or synched device without touching the hardware. (Image source: OTG Platforms)

OnTheGo Platforms calls BrainWave "the first app that allows you to control your favorite music platform with hand gestures. You do not have to touch your phone or even have the screen on to change your song playing on your mobile device or even to turn up or down the volume."

The application is ideal for anyone who listens to music in their car, at work or on their phone, CEO Ryan Fink said.

"When you download BrainWave, all your compatible music apps are automatically added to BrainWave's list so it's also a portal -- whether it's Pandora, iHeart, Spotify, Beats, GooglePlayMusic," Fink told TheBlaze.

The front-facing camera on a mobile device recognizes the swipes, waves and other gestures and gives the user control of the third-party apps.

"This allows the user to play, pause, and select song while the phone is awake and in sleep mode, so the user never has to unlock or touch the devices screen," Fink said.

If it sounds like this kind of application will drain your battery, think again.

"BrainWave actually uses less power than Facebook on your phone," Fink told TheBlaze.

Fink said they initially created the app for a car manufacturer, using the Google Glass hardware as a launch point.

"So when we transitioned the technology to phones and other smart devices, the application was very fast," he said.

The OnTheGo team also realized their underlying technology "Ari" (which stands for Augmented Reality Interface) could be used on a wide variety of other applications.

"When we release Brainwave we also releasing Ari to any developers that wants to create an app using gestures," Fink told TheBlaze. "The main purpose for Brainwave, for us, is to prove to end users and developers that this technology is something useful and available."

Fink said this isn't the first iteration motion response technology, but he believes it is the best.

"Gesture response technology has been around for decades, but hasn't been done well," Fink told TheBlaze. "But now that mobile devices are strong enough, this is the prime time a for company like us to take advantage of the technology and show what it can do."

OnTheGo used Computer Vision and proprietary algorithms to build Ari, which turns the single 2-D camera on the average phone into an accurate gesture recognition device.

"We purposely built Ari on Google Glass first to put the constraints of limited CPU and battery power on ourselves. The results – we have the fastest, lightest, and most accurate mobile gesture recognition software," the company's website explains.

OnTheGod "optimized BrainWave to detect gestures from 1 foot to almost 3 feet away," but there are a few tricks -- the user's whole open hand must be seen by the forward-facing camera. But not to worry: the instructional video and the app are both free.

Check out their demo video:

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Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter

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