Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The future of user interfaces

To me using a mouse is such an intuitive way to control a computer it’s hard to imagine anything different. But if you saw the movie Minority Reports you’ll have seen that some visionaries anticipate being able to control a compute by gestures.

I will admit that I assumed it was just science fiction, but as discussed in this TED presentation video from 2010, the technology exists.

If you stick with the video (it is 15 minutes long,) you’ll see that it wraps up with some speculation about when gesture control might appear on our home PC’s. The answer given is “5 years.”

Does that sound fanciful? It shouldn’t, because isn’t the Kinect delivery gesture control for our Xboxes? And as I’ve noted previously, there are hacks available that let you interface it with a PC. So maybe things are moving faster than the presenter expected.

If you’re interested in buying a fully-fledged, Minority Reports type of system, you can buy it now from oblong industries. And if you click that link to their site you’ll find another video that’s well worth watching. Also, on their Jobs page, you’ll notice they want talented programmers with image processing expertise. I suspect only the best need apply.

To wrap up, if you were reading this in the hope of finding my regular machine vision musings, well what’s the point of running your own blog if you can’t take the occasional trip down a side road? Check back tomorrow for real vision stuff.

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