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Gmail motion- taking the computer into the real world

Business | 29 Apr 2011

So what is Gmail Motion anyway ?

Google and Gmail recently announced their new concept for “interactive email” called “Gmail motion.” The concept uses your computers web cam and Google’s patented special tracking technology to read your physical movements and translate them into on-computer commands.


As we’ve been discussing in my blog, taking body language and translating it into computer demands seems to be the next step in the evolution of computer commands; so this announcement didn’t come as much of a shock to the internet community.

The technology has you standing in front of your computer and using motions with your body that the creators say are: “Natural and intuitive.” For example, if you want to send an email you just pretend to lick a stamp and slap it down on your knee. If you want to reply to an email you just point backwards with your thumb.

The whole system seems pretty cool and easy to use, but what kind of bothers me is that you have to stand up while using it. In my opinion this aspect will be a MAJOR sticking point for users. I get the fact that they are trying to make us less lazy, but I just can’t imagine sitting here at my desk working on SEO then when it’s time to send a message getting up, moving my chair back, squatting down, and launching into a vertical leap to send an email (that’s not the motion to send an email I’m just being facetious). I may be wrong here, but if they can allow us to keep sitting while using the software it would be way more likely to take off with users.

Perhaps the strangest thing about the program is the Google-based website that is promoting it. Like many of their other programs they made a simple white and blue landing page with a brief written explanation and a low-key video. But the video is what really had me wondering. Perhaps I’m the only guy that felt this way, but it really comes off like a Saturday night live skit.

The guy they hired to play out the motions is absolutely hilarious with his expression-less delivery of the techniques and at first I was like: “OK, this HAS to be a joke.” Then, they have a picture at the bottom of 3 guys using the system with their bodies contorted is strange positions with over-dramatic facial expressions. You can watch the video here: Be sure to click on “try Gmail motion” to learn more about this amazing system!

If you visited the website then you’ll learn, as I did, that it IS a joke. When you click on the “try Gmail motion” the link says: “April fools!” You know, I feel like a real jacka55 too, because I clicked on the link only halfway through the last paragraph! They totally got me- so much in fact that I wrote a blog post about it! But in my own defense, I DID mention how it seemed contrived, right?


Despite my stupidity at first it seems that technologies such as Gmail motion are the way of the future. The fact that they would go out of their way to make a joke like that tells us that they are probably working on something like this right now as we speak. I’m making a grenade toss motion right now that’s aimed at Google. Despite how foolish I feel, I have to admit, it was a pretty good joke. =)

Why dont you check out yourself what Gmail motion is about and how Google  managed to fool millions with this hilarious video.

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