Presentation for ‘Minority Report Interface’ That Blew People’s Minds at TED (video)

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minority-report-video

Underkoffler's vision of a new user interface is coming true.

The movie Minority Report features one of the most discussed and influential user interfaces ever shown on the silver screen. Using a pair of special gloves, Tom Cruise’s character can navigate and manipulate a vast array of digital images and information using intuitive gestures and movements. As we discussed back in February, that interface is real. The concept was developed for the film by John Underkoffler of MIT’s Media Lab who has gone on to recreate it as a marketable system. Known as ‘g-speak’ the revolutionary interface is under development by Underkoffler’s company Oblong. It was debuted at the TED conference this year and now we finally have access to that video. Watch Underkoffler casually demonstrate what might very well be the future of human computer interactions.

When you use a mouse or arrow keys you are essentially mapping a one dimensional or two dimensional input onto a 2D surface – the computer screen. Yet we humans live in a 3D world. Many of the next generation of human computer interfaces that we’ve reviewed here on the hub have struggled to find an intuitive way of letting humans explore a digital 3D space. From what you can see in the TED presentation video, it’s clear that Underkoffler has found a solution.

Whether it’s the best solution only time can tell. I am excited, and a little skeptical, of Underkoffler’s belief that in five years a g-speak type UI will come packaged with every computer. It’s not that I think he can’t deliver in that time, he probably can. But as cool as this system is it’s not the only one making waves. Besides working in a 3D geometry, humans also like tactile feedback, and g-speak has none. When someone makes an interface that looks this good and feels even better…then I’ll be certain it will be a success. Until then, g-speak is just one of the more amazing, and promising, or a wide field of contenders. The next definitive human computer interface, if there truly will be only one, is still to be determined.

[screen capture and video credits: TED Talks]
[source: Oblong]

Discussion — 22 Responses

  • Vic79 July 2, 2010 on 4:10 pm

    Silver screen refers to the olden screens, black & white

  • Vic79 July 2, 2010 on 12:10 pm

    Silver screen refers to the olden screens, black & white

  • Hollander July 2, 2010 on 10:53 pm

    Of course video games are the best application of this technology, but Microsoft are already taking care of the hardware: Kinect already has full motion capture. Combine it with a more spacious display (several screens), applications such as those presented, and those gloves might not even be necessary

  • Hollander July 2, 2010 on 6:53 pm

    Of course video games are the best application of this technology, but Microsoft are already taking care of the hardware: Kinect already has full motion capture. Combine it with a more spacious display (several screens), applications such as those presented, and those gloves might not even be necessary

  • LaboriousCretin July 3, 2010 on 2:20 am

    My experience with glove tech is it is glitchy for some things. Gesture tech is good but not perfect. And if it is from micro soft expect a lot of bugs and glitches. As they think the speech recognition is good, it is garbage for people like me, with a less than 75% accuracy with the best dragon dictate app.. I like the tech, but hate the use only as or only on type. I’m not holding my breath odiously. Knowing MS is gobbling this tech up does not make me happy, as they are so sub par..

  • LaboriousCretin July 2, 2010 on 10:20 pm

    My experience with glove tech is it is glitchy for some things. Gesture tech is good but not perfect. And if it is from micro soft expect a lot of bugs and glitches. As they think the speech recognition is good, it is garbage for people like me, with a less than 75% accuracy with the best dragon dictate app.. I like the tech, but hate the use only as or only on type. I’m not holding my breath odiously. Knowing MS is gobbling this tech up does not make me happy, as they are so sub par..

  • Joey1058 July 3, 2010 on 8:51 am

    I hesitate to reply to this, because it might sound like I’m trying to be a “know it all”. But the current excitement surrounding Kinect will eventually seep out to the PC market. Then you combine the core software concepts of g-speak with the hardware of Kinect, and use multiple monitors/televisions/projector systems. And shortly afterwards integrating it with AR using a suitable HMD. Okay, the last line was pie in the sky, but it’s something to dream about. :-)

  • Joey1058 July 3, 2010 on 4:51 am

    I hesitate to reply to this, because it might sound like I’m trying to be a “know it all”. But the current excitement surrounding Kinect will eventually seep out to the PC market. Then you combine the core software concepts of g-speak with the hardware of Kinect, and use multiple monitors/televisions/projector systems. And shortly afterwards integrating it with AR using a suitable HMD. Okay, the last line was pie in the sky, but it’s something to dream about. :-)

  • Henrik July 3, 2010 on 4:35 pm

    I don’t understand why people find this so cool. It looks exhausting to use your arms so much and I haven’t seen anything that couldn’t be done with mouse and keyboard. Feels like it more important to make it look cool than actually make it more productive.
    Also I don’t like this “computers must become more easy too use” attidtude, I think they are extremely easy to use these days. Wouldn’t it be better to take care of the people to make them at least smart enough to use a PC (which even children can do) than to make computers so simple that even idiots can use them (what use are they then anyways?)
    That 10Gui thing that I saw here looked much better in terms of usefullness.

    • Kevin Morrill Henrik July 5, 2010 on 9:52 am

      Agreed. I don’t think they’ve found anything close to a killer app for it.

      I wonder if something that would be more interesting than all this motion detecting is eye tracking built into laptops/displays. That I think would afford a lot more practical user interface improvements.

  • Henrik July 3, 2010 on 12:35 pm

    I don’t understand why people find this so cool. It looks exhausting to use your arms so much and I haven’t seen anything that couldn’t be done with mouse and keyboard. Feels like it more important to make it look cool than actually make it more productive.
    Also I don’t like this “computers must become more easy too use” attidtude, I think they are extremely easy to use these days. Wouldn’t it be better to take care of the people to make them at least smart enough to use a PC (which even children can do) than to make computers so simple that even idiots can use them (what use are they then anyways?)
    That 10Gui thing that I saw here looked much better in terms of usefullness.

    • Kevin Morrill Henrik July 5, 2010 on 5:52 am

      Agreed. I don’t think they’ve found anything close to a killer app for it.

      I wonder if something that would be more interesting than all this motion detecting is eye tracking built into laptops/displays. That I think would afford a lot more practical user interface improvements.

  • Carl July 4, 2010 on 7:33 am

    The question is not whether it is technically possible, it is whether people will feel comfortable using an interface that involves waving their arms around. That is a behavioural issue, not a technological one. We can see routes to it…Wii, multi-touch etc, but ultimately the technologists need to focus more on behavioural aspects, not be enamoured by the capabilities of technology.

  • Carl July 4, 2010 on 3:33 am

    The question is not whether it is technically possible, it is whether people will feel comfortable using an interface that involves waving their arms around. That is a behavioural issue, not a technological one. We can see routes to it…Wii, multi-touch etc, but ultimately the technologists need to focus more on behavioural aspects, not be enamoured by the capabilities of technology.

  • TED Attendee July 5, 2010 on 4:53 am

    For what it is worth, this presentation did anything but blow people’s minds at TED. It was infantile. The technology didn’t work. It was pretty unimpressive in every respect. There are amazing things shown and discussed at TED each year, but this was not one of them.

  • TED Attendee July 5, 2010 on 12:53 am

    For what it is worth, this presentation did anything but blow people’s minds at TED. It was infantile. The technology didn’t work. It was pretty unimpressive in every respect. There are amazing things shown and discussed at TED each year, but this was not one of them.

  • evan July 6, 2010 on 3:17 am

    Not impressed. Microsoft verdict will be released in the fall and is capable of doing many of the same things..

  • evan July 5, 2010 on 11:17 pm

    Not impressed. Microsoft verdict will be released in the fall and is capable of doing many of the same things..

  • NGO July 8, 2010 on 12:36 am

    pardon, but Underkoffler’s vision is flawed in many ways. To start with, it is much harder to navigate data when there’s no frame of reference. When using a mouse, you have a desk (2D) and you look at the screen (2D)
    In Oblong’s world, you have an un-restricted space to move (3D + HPR) and you look at a screen (2D) that shows 3D graphics.
    To pick something with a mouse type device (or touch/Multi Touch screen) you have only a plane to worry about.
    With Oblong’s interface you have to master a non – referenced 3D space, while gazing at a flat display of 3D content. Na, not for my mother…

  • NGO July 7, 2010 on 8:36 pm

    pardon, but Underkoffler’s vision is flawed in many ways. To start with, it is much harder to navigate data when there’s no frame of reference. When using a mouse, you have a desk (2D) and you look at the screen (2D)
    In Oblong’s world, you have an un-restricted space to move (3D + HPR) and you look at a screen (2D) that shows 3D graphics.
    To pick something with a mouse type device (or touch/Multi Touch screen) you have only a plane to worry about.
    With Oblong’s interface you have to master a non – referenced 3D space, while gazing at a flat display of 3D content. Na, not for my mother…

  • Tess Malone November 7, 2010 on 4:16 pm

    killer app happens when we can “think” about it and it happens on the screen, or use eye and facial movements to manipulate screen output.

    I agree, that’s too much exerting movement to use the computer – keyboard and mouse is more efficient.

    Remember developers, people are fundamentally lazy…go big with minimum effort/maximum gain

  • Julian February 25, 2011 on 9:51 pm

    Simbioz can already do this without the gloves and it is way better at designing interfaces that are easy to use. Not like this. The average joe blow will not want to learn all those crazy motions the speaker is doing to signal commands.