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Prank of the day: Gmail gets physical

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Prank of the day: Gmail gets physical


Gmail Motion is a revolutionary product that uses a computer’s webcam to receive physical movements as commands for e-mailing.

A nerd in a blue T-shirt with the Google logo on his chest – identified as Gmail Motion Product Manager Paul McDonald – explains what the new development is all about:

“We’ve been working with experts in motion technology and semiotics to develop a language of movements that replaces type entirely.”

It looks like a wonderful evolution in how we send e-mails. While the so-called product manager explains how Gmail Motion works, and why it is the natural alternative for the “outdated” keyboard and mouse technology, an actor demonstrates the moves.

A man in a short-sleeved white shirt appears on the right hand side of the screen over a background of Gmail messages. He has the expression of a dead man, a gaze that looks through you with no emotion.

He demonstrates that to reply to an e-mail, for instance, you only need to point backwards with your thumb. To reply all, use both hands. Up to this point, the development looks real enough. Then it comes to sending a message. Lick a stamp and place it down, says the nerd.

The actor licks his index and middle finger, moves his knee up to his waist, and pastes the imaginary stamp over it, an action so silly that it can only be a joke.
Two “experts” are also interviewed in the video. One speaks about 80 per cent of human communications being through body language and the other of the constraints of having to sit at a desk all day to interact with a machine, adding the new product frees us from that.

Watch the video here: Gmail Motion

Don’t forget to click on Try Gmail Motion button on the right hand side of the page.

By Ali Sheikholeslami
London Correspondent

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

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