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Wednesday, 16 October 2002

Gestural Interfaces

"There was a lot of thought-provoking material in Steven Spielberg's movie "Minority Report". One scene that I found especially interesting was where Tom Cruise's character is using a computer-like device to sift through archived "memories" of a murder scene, looking for clues to determine where the predicted murder would take place.

"Usually, in a movie, a computer interface consists of someone typing line after line of full English sentences, each keystroke generating a beep, while windows appear at random and infinite levels of "image refinement" take place on a fuzzy, grainy photo of something, until it is finally perfectly sharp and clear. Not so in Minority Report.

"In this movie, there is an almost actually believable interface, although admittedly it is used for a very specific task. Cruise performs all the "data manipulation" using simple hand gestures, which the computer recognizes, presumably, by tracking the glowing LEDs on his glove's thumb, fore and middle fingertips." [more, via Steven Frank]

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