Believe it or not, now you could be able to control your television by waving arms in the air.

An Indian-origin scientist, Ramesh Raskar, and his team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, have modified an everyday LCD screen into a TV that can “see” the world in front of it in 3D.

“It means a viewer can control onscreen objects by waving their arms in the air without touching the screen, let alone a mouse or keyboard,” Raskar said.

He said, “This is a level of interaction that nobody’s ever been able to do before“.

Raskar along with his colleagues Matthew Hirsch and Henry Holtzman created a prototype of the screen called bi-directional or BiDi that allows users to manipulate or interact with objects on the screen in three dimensions. The model will be presented at Siggraph Asia later this week.

“It will also function as a 3D scanner. If you spin an object in front of screen, the software will stitch together a 3D image,” he added.

Raskar’s team was inspired by the way manufacturers of LCD panels, including Sharp and Planar Systems, are experimenting with adding optical sensors between a panel’s pixels so that it can act as a touchscreen interface, journal New Scientist reported.

But such displays have poor vision, like a camera with no lens, says the researchers: they can clearly image objects that are in direct contact with the screen, but anything further away is blurred.