Gesture-Based ‘Gmail Motion’ April Fools’ Day Prank Gets Real

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Did you stare droolingly at last Friday’s Gmail Motion news? The idea was that you’d use your computer’s camera to capture your own gestures, which would in turn be translated into commonly-used Gmail commands. Did you cry at your desk when you found out it was an April Fools’ Day joke?

Makes you wish you had an office with a door that closes, huh? They don’t give those out to crybabies, though—especially crybabies that cry about fake features of a free e-mail service. That’s cubicle behavior, at best.


All that crying was totally unnecessary anyway, because the fact that the whole thing was an April Fools’ joke by Google didn’t stop the Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) at the University of Southern California from actually making Gmail Motion a reality. You cried, and these good people rolled up their sleeves and did something about it.

The team used a Microsoft Kinect camera to capture the same goofy Gmail Actions (above photo) that Google used for its fake Gmail Motion feature.

Here’s ICT’s demo video:



And here’s Google’s original video, for your reference:



If you’re really feeling adventurous, you can download the code that ICT used to get the hack working and cobble a similar solution together yourself.

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