Design consultancy Kicker Studio has designed a rather cool "Gestural Entertainment Center" for electronics company Canesta. Take a look:
Looks like your arms would get tired, no? But in today's sedentary world, that's probably a good thing.
In any case, a fair amount of research went into this device; the gestures are not arbitrary. As Kicker Studio explains,
We...set about to understand the activity and context of watching TV. We recorded subjects while watching video on their TV or computer. We looked for the types of casual gestures a user would make in order to limit the number of accidental triggers cause by non-deliberate gestures. We also noted the type of commands necessary specifically for operation of video playback. We looked for similar patterns of control to reduce the size of the vocabulary for easy retention. For example: changing the volume and changing the channel.
From these investigations, we quickly established a list of metrics to measure success. We wanted to clearly "beat the remote" while creating a fun, engaging experience.