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Controls Better than Minority Report's in Works

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 20 comments

But the question remains: should we use 3D interfaces to work?

The same research society responsible for the development of the MP3 compression algorithm has developed as gesture control interface touted as better than the fictional one featured in Minority Report.

A development team based at the Fraunhofer Technical Institute has created a system that can track the movements of several hands—right down to each individual finger. This "3D Multi-touch interface" doesn't require users to wear gloves, and allows them to control virtual objects with all ten fingers.

No word on when the institute will push to adapt the system for practical applications. It's appropriate to consider the opinions of usability expert Jakob Nielsen, who wrote about 3D interfaces back in 2006:

Many user interfaces designed for the movies feature gestural input and 3D data visualizations. Immersive environments and fly-through navigation look good, and allow for more dramatic interaction than clicking on a linear list of 10 items. But, despite being a staple of computer conference demos for decades, 3D almost never makes it into shipping products. The reason? 2D works better than 3D for the vast majority of practical things that users want to do.

3D is for demos. 2D is for work.

The Technical Institute is part of a wider society of 59 research institutes distributed throughout Germany, operating with an annual budget of 1.6 billion euros.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    jojesa , July 23, 2010 12:50 AM
    I hope they include toes....I like multi-tasking
  • 10 Hide
    thesupermedium , July 23, 2010 3:14 AM
    killerclickI wouldn't want to use controls like this. Holding hands raised in front of you is tiring. You know how fighters start lowering their guard after a few rounds? That's ten, fifteen minutes. Try keeping your hands raised and waving around for three or four hours.


    Everyone will have mad biceps!
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    jojesa , July 23, 2010 12:50 AM
    I hope they include toes....I like multi-tasking
  • -1 Hide
    Strider-Hiryu_79 , July 23, 2010 12:59 AM
    Wow first 3-D Pornz. Now with this technology, "interactive" 3-D Pornz is one-step closer!
  • 4 Hide
    dragonfang18 , July 23, 2010 1:05 AM
    I hope it can identify when you want to use it... What if you have an itch on your nose, or if you have to point out something to your friends.
  • 0 Hide
    jcb82 , July 23, 2010 1:23 AM
    I think the pieces of the technology are already there and just need to be put together. We already have glasses-less 3D-tv's all we need to do is make the 3d work from wider viewing angles. In addition, through Microsoft's Kinect you have the ability to understand gestures in real time. My guess is that they've upgraded the ability of the system to interpret fingers & multiple hands etc. and integrated that with a 3d display technology.
  • 4 Hide
    killerclick , July 23, 2010 1:54 AM
    I wouldn't want to use controls like this. Holding hands raised in front of you is tiring. You know how fighters start lowering their guard after a few rounds? That's ten, fifteen minutes. Try keeping your hands raised and waving around for three or four hours.
  • 10 Hide
    thesupermedium , July 23, 2010 3:14 AM
    killerclickI wouldn't want to use controls like this. Holding hands raised in front of you is tiring. You know how fighters start lowering their guard after a few rounds? That's ten, fifteen minutes. Try keeping your hands raised and waving around for three or four hours.


    Everyone will have mad biceps!
  • 2 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , July 23, 2010 3:20 AM
    dragonfang18I hope it can identify when you want to use it... What if you have an itch on your nose, or if you have to point out something to your friends.


    This comment right here. This is also my concern.
  • 0 Hide
    pythy , July 23, 2010 3:37 AM
    Yes I can see it now, instead of sitting on my lazy ass with hands resting comfortably on my mouse and keyboard, I'll be standing up with my arms outstretched twinkling my fingers just so I can read the news on the net.
  • -1 Hide
    pirateboy , July 23, 2010 4:26 AM
    it looks cute...otherwise, it's completely useless
  • 0 Hide
    fuzzietech , July 23, 2010 7:54 AM
    If I wanted to peek inside would it give me a warning before I bumped my head?
  • 2 Hide
    Clintonio , July 23, 2010 11:25 AM
    Strider-Hiryu_79Wow first 3-D Pornz. Now with this technology, "interactive" 3-D Pornz is one-step closer!

    Get a girlfriend.
  • 0 Hide
    ssddx , July 23, 2010 11:41 AM
    thesupermediumEveryone will have mad biceps!

    My laugh of the morning..thanks

    back_by_demandUsed it have we?...etc

    Just because a person has not physically used this interface does not mean that they cannot form a realistic opinion of it. We have seen demos of such, albiet less advanced, interface concepts for years. Also, could you imagine a company letting you work for half the time because the interface makes you "tired" ? I doubt it.

    I work in the mechanical design field and to me a gesture-based 3d interface *is* completely useless for anything but presentations. How exactly are you supposed to input exact numbers & complex commands? Now for presentations, as long as the presenter is not overzealous with radical hand movements while speaking this might be a usefull tool. key word... might.

    On the other hand, a true 3d (hologram) display *would* be usefull. In *this* circumstance a few simple gestures to rotate, pan, zoom in and perhaps form an exploded view could be handy. The actual design phase would be better accomplished with a 2d interface though. Unless you are somehow comparing this to the ironman movie, in which case the programs the supercomputer would need to do this would be a work of art. The ability to instantly design & create a working mechanical piece from mere finger strokes is genious. Sorry for the sarcasm.. but hollywood is hollywood, at least for the next few hundred years.

  • 1 Hide
    nafhan , July 23, 2010 12:12 PM
    Quote:
    The same research society responsible for the development of the MP3 compression

    Great... maybe we'll have to pay licensing fees to legally move our hands around in front of a computer now.
  • 0 Hide
    chunkymonster , July 23, 2010 12:15 PM
    This interface would be hell to manipulate a spreadsheet or database with thousands of records. Heck current touchscreen technology is useless for data manipulation!
  • 0 Hide
    sneaky jedi , July 23, 2010 1:43 PM
    the coolest looking technology is usually like junk food, it tastes great but is pretty much useless
  • 0 Hide
    pizzacheeks , July 23, 2010 2:23 PM
    that picture remind me of the old welteris game
  • 0 Hide
    killerclick , July 23, 2010 4:10 PM
    back_by_demandWhereas in the real world, everyone else would say"Don't knock it till you've tried it"


    That's a stupid saying
  • 0 Hide
    HalJordan , July 23, 2010 4:52 PM
    I've wanted a interface like this for years. Will this tech replace keyboards, and mice? Nope. At best this will compliment traditional input methods.

    Though, who among us saw the holographic display tech in the IronMan movies, and didn't say, "Yes, that is what I want."




  • 0 Hide
    victomofreality , July 23, 2010 6:11 PM
    I like this more then traditional touch screens, no chance of leaving fingerprints or smudges on the screen.
  • 0 Hide
    candrwhite , July 23, 2010 8:36 PM
    ClintonioGet a girlfriend.


    If he could, he wouldn't need this. He does need this so....
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