Changing tracks on digital music players of the future while on the move could be done with the nod of the head.

Building on previous work, researchers at the University of Glasgow have been developing “audio clouds” to control gadgets using movement and sound.

Presenting their work at a US computer interface conference, they say audio clouds could make using mobile devices on the move safer and easier.

A mobile that responds to movements was launched in Japan last month.

Mobile makers are also already testing 3D audio systems for devices.

“The idea behind the whole thing is to look at new ways to present information,” Professor Stephen Brewster told the BBC News website.

Interfaces and ways to control mobile devices are often visually based, he added, because they have grown out of the way people use desktop computers.

They tend to vary in ease of use, however, and are often difficult to use while on the move, said Professor Brewster.

“We hope to develop interfaces that are truly mobile, allowing users to concentrate on the real world while interacting with their mobile device as naturally as if they were talking to a friend while walking.”

There has been a large body of work looking at different ways to control devices through vision-based gesture recognition, the professor said, but not so much has concentrated on movement.

More here.