Google Meet is getting gesture recognition features

24 Nov 2023

Image: ©

Google is rolling out a form of gesture recognition that lets Google Meet users quickly show they want to ask a question during a video call.

Google has announced a new gesture recognition feature for its Google Meet service, which can now detect when you raise your hand during a video call.

The feature is designed to be an alternative to the usual method of asking a question during a Google Meet chat – by clicking the hand icon on the screen. With this new feature enabled, users can simply raise their hand and Google Meet will detect the movement.

The feature is off by default and needs to be enabled by the user to function, which can be done through instructions Google shared in a blogpost.

“As an active speaker, the gesture detection will not be triggered; when you’re no longer the active speaker, gesture detection will resume,” Google said.

The feature is currently available for “rapid release” users, who get access to features earlier than Google’s general feature roll-out. The gradual roll-out will occur towards the end of November and into the middle of December.

The new feature comes a decade after Google acquired the gesture recognition start-up Flutter for a reported $40m.

Recognition technology

The technology around gesture recognition has advanced in recent years and has various applications. For example, French start-up Veesion has been using this form of technology to stop shoplifting, by spotting “suspicious gestures” and alerting staff.

That technology relies on AI, which is also used by various companies and government organisations for the purpose of biometric identification.

Biometric identification is broad and can include simple technology such as fingerprint detection or more controversial systems such as emotion analysis. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office has previously warned against the use of emotion analysis technology and is developing guidance on the wider use of biometric tech such as facial, fingerprint and voice-recognition systems.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic