We’ve all seen that bit in Minority Report where Tom Cruise is using that gestural computer interface, grabbing images, flipping them around, swiping them aside? Well, 6 years on and a very similar system is for real:
The main man behind the g-speak system seems to be one John Underkoffler, who was—surprise, surprise—one of the technical advisors on Minority Report. There’s lots more information, including a historical overview of g-speak, on the Oblong website.
Is this the future of computing? No, I don’t think so, not for us plebs. Gestural interfaces will become the dominant paradigm, but mainly in the form of touch screens. There will be a place for this type of spatial operating environment—as they call it—but I would imagine it will be limited to military/industrial applications. Oblong themselves say the system is suited to:
- analysis of large data sets;
- operation of three-dimensional interfaces;
- construction of efficient multi-user collaborative applications;
- integration of large screens and multiple computers into room- and building-scale work environments;
- development of large-scale applications that run interactively across enterprise networks.
I reckon that’s about right. The system only makes any kind of sense with the huge screen(s).