AllSee, battery-less gesture recognition technology for electronic devices

AllSee battery less gesture recognition technology

Gesture controlled electronics could soon get a next level upgrade as a battery less gesture recognition system makes its appearance into the technology space. Research headed by Shyam Gollakota and his students at University of Washington have developed a low-power gesture recognition system called AllSee that brings gesture recognition to all devices like smartphones, home electronics, robots and other gadgets. All that is needed is a compatible app and AllSee will enable gesture recognition for that device irrespective of the device’s hardware. This amazing new technology uses TV signals to power the chip that uses just 10 microwatts of power, meaning that it can be turned on at all times and won’t require any external battery source. This ground-breaking gesture recognition technology will be on show at Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation conference in Seattle between April 2-4, 2014.


  • Battery-free sensors that run on TV signal power harnessed wirelessly
  • Controls electronics devices even when they are hidden from sight
  • Uses TV signals to power up the circuit and recognize user’s gesture commands
  • Has ultra-low-power receiver that extracts and recognizes gestures from wireless transmission around us

Problem with other gesture recognition systems

There are gesture recognition systems in smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S4, but the problem is that if you keep the utility on at all times it drains out power very quickly. Moreover the user has to manually enable the feature to let the gesture recognition function work.

AllSee as the solution

AllSee solves this problem as it uses almost 3-4 times less power than other gesture recognition systems and doesn’t even require an on-board battery reserve.

In the labs

Researchers have been able to test the response of AllSee’s gesture recognition capability by using 8 different hand gestures like pushing, pulling, zoom in or zoom out. The prototype version identified the hand gestures more than 90 percent of the time from a distance of 2 feet. To top it off the smart gesture technology has a response time of less than 80 microseconds, almost 1000 times faster than a blink of eye.

Application of AllSee

One cool application of AllSee is the ability to toggle the music properties when your smartphone is in the pocket or bag without even taking it out. For example to raise or lower the volume, you simply have to make the requisite gesture in direction of the phone and it is done.

Other application is the use of AllSee with Internet of Things devices such as home monitoring systems that operate with usual keypads

AllSee battery less gesture recognition technology


Can be built for less than a dollar and requires very less power, in-fact doesn’t even need a battery power source.


AllSee project is funded by Google Faculty Research Award and the Washington Research Foundation.

According to Shyam Gollakota

This is the first gesture recognition system that can be implemented for less than a dollar and doesn’t require a battery. You can leverage TV signals both as a source of power and as a source of gesture recognition.

Bryce Kellogg, a student working in the AllSee project says

Beyond mobile devices, AllSee can enable interaction with Internet of Things devices. These sensing devices are increasingly smaller electronics that can’t operate with usual keypads, so gesture-based systems are ideal.

Wrap up

AllSee could be a viable alternative to battery consuming touchscreen and sensing technologies, thereby increasing the battery usage by almost twice the amount. In addition to this the gesture recognition capabilities of this technology could be leveraged across a wide array of electronic devices to make your life a tad easier.

AllSee battery less gesture recognition technology



Hailing from the northern region of India, Gaurav has a profound liking for everything upbeat in the cloud and vision to acquaint readers with the latest technology news. He likes to observe nature, write thought provoking quotes, travel places, drive cars and play video games when things get too boring. And his food for thought comes from ambient music scores he listens to.

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