In your face interface

Tom James @ 06-08-2009

The folks at Technology Review have run up a top ten of futurismic display/interface combos, all on display at SIGGRAPH 2009, I particularly like the haptic holography from researchers at the University of Tokyo:

The virtual objects appear in mid-air thanks to an LCD and a concave mirror. The sensation of touching the objects is created using an ultrasound device positioned below the LCD and mirror.

It’ll be interesting to see whether people end up using more traditional haptic devices like gloves and goggles combinations, or choose something based on holography and sound waves.

Also note that Wii remotes are used as off-the-shelf sensors, the street, or academia, finds its own use for things.


Stylus and sketch: interaction for design

Tom James @ 13-01-2009

An ongoing trend in design tools and techniques lies in finding ways to make CAD more intuitive by using pen-based interfaces, from Physorg:

Because thinking about a new product shape by sketching is more expressive and more intuitive for engineers than the traditional mouse-and-menu-based design interfaces, the new system gives users more freedom to be creative and a shorter learning curve for use.

By providing greater freedom in conceptual design phases and alleviating costly redesign issues, the new technology will have an immediate impact on a multitude of industries, Carnegie Mellon researchers said.

This sounds similar to the ILoveSketch software tool, demonstrated in this video:

[ILoveSketch from Seok-Hyung Bae on Vimeo][via Bruce Sterling]


Multi-touch goes “global”

JustinP @ 29-07-2008

vista-spheresHere at Futurismic, we’ve talked about multi-touch interfaces before. However, today, Microsoft researchers have revealed a development of the technology which is, well, something of a conceptual leap.

While flat-panel displays might be the current interface zeitgeist, Todd Bishop (amongst others) believes this development means “Microsoft thinks the shape of things to come might be a sphere”

Microsoft researchers are taking the wraps off a prototype that uses an internal projection and vision system to bring a spherical computer display to life. People can touch the surface with multiple fingers and hands to manipulate photos, play games, spin a virtual globe, or watch 360-degree videos …

Sphere is a cousin of the Microsoft Surface tabletop computer, already being used in retail and hospitality settings. The underlying hardware for Sphere is sold commercially by Global Imagination of Los Gatos, Calif., but Microsoft researchers made numerous enhancements and developed specialized software.

In a broader sense, the project reflects Microsoft’s belief that many more surfaces will become computer displays, with embedded microprocessors, in the years to come.

To wrap your head around some of the potential applications of this muti-touch globe, check out the video!

For me, it’s with the omnidirectional video / surveillance applications that this technology really begins to show its value …

[story via Todd Bishop’s Microsoft Blog. Image by likeyesterday, via Flickr]