Thursday, June 17, 2010

TECHNOLOGY REVIEW: THE HAND IS THE CUTTING EDGE OF THE MIND



If you had enjoyed watching the sci-fi fantasy thriller movie, 'Minority Report' (2002), starring Tom Cruise as a future cop on the run - due to a too-perfect computer system gone haywire - in the Year 2054 (Washington DC), you would certaining recall seeing the futuristic graphical user interface - remember, no keyboard, no mouse, no command line whatsoever... only hand gestures to initiate.

In the movie, our hero put on his so-called data gloves & started whooshing through video streams of "future crime scenes" based on "precognitive sensing" technology.


Just as the movie's tagline read:

"The Future Can Be Seen. Murder Can be Prevented. The Guilty Punished Before the Crime is Committed...

The System is Perfect. It's Never Wrong. Until It Comes After You.

Everybody runs... you can't hide... Get ready to run!"

Well, I read recently that the seemingly intuitive graphical user interface is real, as depicted in the foregoing video presentation at TED by the inventor, John Underkoff. He had invented it - as a point-and-touch interface called g-speak - and it's about to change the way we interact with data.

In fact, he was the scientific advisor to the Steven Speilberg movie.

John Underkoffler led the team that came up with the unusual graphical user interface, called the g-speak Spatial Operating Environment.

His company, Oblong Industries, was founded to move g-speak into the real world.

Oblong is building apps for aerospace, bioinformatics, video editing and more. But the big vision is ubiquity: g-speak on every laptop, every desktop, every microwave oven, TV, dashboard."

"It has to be like this," he says. "We all of us every day feel that. We build starting there. We want to change it all."

Before founding Oblong, Underkoffler spent 15 years at MIT's Media Laboratory, working in holography, animation and visualization techniques, and building the I/O Bulb and Luminous Room Systems.

"We're not finished until all the computers in the world work like this... in about five years' time."

I am now fully convinced: The hand is the cutting edge of the mind!

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