Word from the herd

Word from the herd

Tom Cruise in the film Minority Report: not as futuristic as you might think...

Friday Afternoon Future-Gazing: Are You Gesturing at Me?

Here in the Herd office, we sometimes (but not very often) like to take a break from day-to-day goings on and do a bit of future-gazing. With our interest in touchscreen technology and the increasing popularity of responsive design, we got to thinking about where this might all be heading.

Anyone who has a smartphone or tablet will be familiar with just how far touchscreen technology has come, but when it was first introduced in the 1960s, nobody would have foreseen the direction things are now going in, as we head towards a future where we will merely have to gesture towards a device to control it.

But exactly how distant is that future? Well, it's actually not the future, it's now. Remember the interface from the film, Minority Report? Well, it's real. The film, set in 2054, shows humans being advertised to on a personal level by billboards that can scan their retinas, spider robots that can run reconnaissance missions and, most famously, a giant computer interface that can be controlled just by human movement. In this TED Talk from 2010, inventor John Underkoffler explains how Spatial Operating Environment (SOE) technology came about.

SOE technology is already starting to come onto the market.  Oblong Industries offer the g-speak SOE in their range of products, and from the blurb on their website, the potential impact of this technology on collaborative working seems immense. And according to Microsoft, 10 million units of their movement-tracking Kinect Xbox hardware have been sold, making it a fairly common household item.

So how long will it be before we lose our keyboards and our mice and just gesture towards our giant screens? Well, according to leading experts, we can expect this to be the way we interact with our computers within the next 5-10 years. 

But for now, I will still click "Send" to post this blog.

Posted byKeeon 8th August 2012