Next generation computers will be highly interactive devices controlled by gestures

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The Independent Tech

In the future intuitive, flexible and highly interactive devices will replace the clunky desktop computers and fixed-sized screens that rule our lives today.

For many, the reality of an intelligent interactive interface - like those seen in movies like "Minority Report", "Avatar" and "Star Trek" - is a distant or far-fetched idea with little hope of real-world implementation.

But speakers at the annual TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference are providing concrete evidence that tomorrow's computers will be highly interactive, gesture-controlled devices, not limited to one set space.

On Friday February 12 John Underkoffler, Chief Scientist at Oblong Industries and the leader of the team responsible for creating the futuristic interface concept used during the 2002 movie "Minority Report", gave a public demonstration of g-speak spatial operating environment.

Oblong Industries' g-speak computer interface "will fundamentally change the way people use machines at work, in the living room, in conference rooms, in vehicles" says Oblong Industries on their website.

Oblong Industries' three-dimensional interface is controlled by human gestures made with specialised gloves. g-speak can be seamlessly used by multiple users. The information can be projected onto large screens or even building-scale work environments.

In 2009, a wearable gestural interface called SixthSense was unveiled at TED. The portable device wowed the technology world and provided an insight into the next generation of computing devices.

The SixthSense prototype, which costs only $350 to build, translates natural physical gestures (such as making a frame with your fingers around an area you wish to photograph) into interactive information the portable device can understand and use (such as taking a photo).

In November 2009, Pranav Mistry, the inventor of the SixthSense technology announced he would make the technology open source enabling anyone to build their own "SixthSense" hardware.

Videos of the two gesture controlled interfaces can be viewed here: