Kinect may not be the best way to play games on an Xbox 360, in spite of the fact that some games for the platform are pretty good. However, one place Kinect does shine is in controlling the Xbox interface. It features all kinds of cool gestures that make it easy to control the console without touching the controller. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could get functionality like that on your Mac? With Flutter it’s actually possible, and it’s easier than you might think to get it up and running.
Of course, Flutter is not as deep as Kinect, as it lacks the hardware and depth sensing technologies. However, it’s a very useful tool for listening to music and watching videos, as it allows you to skip songs, rewind, fast forward, play, and pause – all with simple gestures. Instead of digging through open windows to find and pause music, you can simply perform a gesture, and save yourself some valuable time. Plus, it feels really cool stopping music with a gesture, like something out of a sci-fi movie.
Using The App
When you launch Flutter for the first time, it will run you through a quick calibration so it can learn how you perform the gestures. This takes just a few seconds, as there are only a few gestures you need to know. In case you happen to forget, I will remind you of the gestures again:
- Hold palm of hand towards webcam – Pause
- Point right with thumb with palm facing camera – Skip
- Point left with thumb with palm facing camera – Go back
The set up will also ask if you would like to let the app take photos during gestures to help improve accuracy. Personally, I prefer not to have my photo sent to the developers, but at least it asks your permission and does not take photos without your you giving it the okay.
Once you run through the quick set up process, you will be ready to use the program. Out of box, it supports a big list of programs, such as:
Most popular programs for media are available, and you will need to set your preferred program, so if you have more than one open, it will know which one the gesture should control. To set the preferred program, simply right-click or CTRL-click the app’s icon in the menu bar and go to the drop down.
You may not want to have the program running all the time, and that’s simple enough to fix. All you have to do is click the icon and the app will turn off. You can tell it’s off because the icon will be lighter, and the light on your webcam will turn off.
Another handy option is the ability to choose whether the application automatically starts up when you turn on your Mac. If you are the kind of person who is constantly consuming one form of media or another, you will probably want this option on. If you plan to only use Flutter occasionally, turning it off might be the way to go for you. Either way, having options is always a good thing!
If you still can’t get the hang of the gestures, fear not, because if you right-click on the icon you can bring up the gesture tutorial again at any time.
While I may be covering the Mac application specifically, I would be missing a key part of the experience if I did not mention the awesome Flutter Chrome extension. It offers the same key functionality as the Mac application, but it does it with web-based apps like Netflix, Pandora, YouTube and more.
If you are looking for a way to speed up the process of controlling your music, Flutter is the perfect Mac application for you. It’s incredibly easy to use, and let’s be honest, it just feels downright cool to control your music using only your hand. I’ve definitely had some friends over and used Flutter and left them with a rather surprised look on their faces when I skipped a song no one liked without even touching my MacBook.
Have you ever tried Flutter to control your music and media on your Mac? Are you going to try it out? Hit the comments section below and let us know!