Let’s consider a scenario – you are working on your laptop (browsing, writing or anything!) with some nice music playing in the background and your cell phone rings.
What do you do right after you realise that you need to take that important call?
I’ll tell you what I do – minimise the current application window you are in, bring up iTunes (or any other application where your music is playing), look for the pause/mute button and chances are in all of this, you might miss that call! 😛
I know if you are like me, you would directly hit on the mute button on your Mac but then, your music keeps on playing in the background and you really don’t want to skip that song… so what’s the way out?
Well, if you are very used to this whole situation, here is a pretty simple solution which puts your webcam to a better use and lets you control your music by waving your hands at your computer.
No, I am not kidding!
There is an app for that – its called Flutter and its really simple and fun to use.
Flutter uses hand gestures detected via the built-in webcam in your device to play, pause and skip songs & videos on your Mac.
Currently, Flutter supports iTunes, Spotify, Rdio, MPlayerX (latest version), VLC (latest version), Ecoute, Quicktime, and Keynote.
How Flutter Works?
Key Features of the Flutter App
- Play/Pause your music & videos using simple hand gestures (You need to just show palm gesture to your Mac)
- Go to Next Song (using thumbs right) or rewind to Previous Song (using thumbs left gesture)
- Works via your webcam, which means you don’t need not spend on any additional hardware
- Works best from 1-6 feet distance from webcam – I have found this to work from even a further distance, as long the web can see your gesture, it works!
- Works even when Spotify, iTunes, Rdio, and other apps are playing music/video in the background or are minimized.
About clarification on the last feature, I actually got in touch with the Flutter team via email to which Mehul (co-founder, Flutter) responded:
iTA: I got to use Flutter App recently and I noticed that if I have 2 music apps playing in the background at the same time, (in my case VLC and iTunes), it only controls the app which was open last. Can you please clarify how it is supposed to work, or I have the freedom to decide which player my gestures control or, in future there would be player specific gestures?Mehul: That’s the accurate understanding. Right now, it controls the app that was in focus last, so if you were to bring up one of the app (iTunes) in focus and then minimize it, that app will get controlled. If you were to close that app (iTunes), then remaining app (VLC) would get control automatically. We kept it this way in short-term. Once we add more apps, we will allow you to select Preferred App. Once you have a Preferred App, Flutter control will remain on that until you close that app.
Below are some of the features which are planned for future releases
- Volume Gestures
- YouTube and Other Web Apps Support
- Additional gestures in the work: Like Songs, Mute, Volume Control
As of now, Flutter is available for Mac and Windows PC and has already been featured in the Mac App Store.
Currently with just an 8-member team (full timers and interns), they have done a great job and all the innovation happens from Flutter’s SF downtown office.
The Flutter team have filed some patents for the gesture technology. Have a look at this TechCrunch demo cum interview with the Flutter co-founders, Navneet Dalal and Mehul Nariyawala about how Flutter works and what are the founders’ future plans with the app.
I think this app has got a lot of potential and there are endless number of areas where this gesture-powered technology can make wonders and make impossible, possible. What do you think?
Download it now from Flutter App Website.
iTA wishes Team Flutter the very best of luck and hope that they keep innovating and releasing such revolutioning apps.