Documenting the Coming Singularity

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gesture-activated computer interface - it'll be big

NYT - 2.15.10 (by Jennifer 8. Lee)

John Underkoffler, who helped create the gesture-based computer interface imagined in the film “Minority Report,” has brought that technology to real life. He gave a demonstration at the TED Conference in Long Beach, Calif., on Friday.

Hollywood imitates life. And sometimes life imitates Hollywood.

John Underkoffler, who led the team that came up with the interface that Tom Cruise’s character used in the 2002 movie “Minority Report,” co-founded a company, Oblong Industries, to make the gesture-activated interface a reality.

Using special gloves, Mr. Underkoffler demonstrated the interface — called the g-speak Spatial Operating Environment — on Friday at the annual TED conference in Long Beach, Calif., a series of lectures by experts across a variety of technologies.

He pushed, pulled and twisted vast troves of photos and forms that were on a screen in front of him, compressing and stretching as he went. He zoomed in, zoomed out and rotated the images using six degrees of control. In one part of the demonstration, he reached into a series of movies, plucked out a single character from each and placed them onto a “table” together where they continued to move. (Oblong has released its own demonstration video).

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