Minority Report is less remembered for its hackneyed look at future-prescience, and more for its snazzy holographic interface. It's the one thing from that dystopian near-future that we could all look forward to. Thanks to MIT's John Underkoffler, that future may be a lot nearer than we thought. He's the science advisor who worked on the film to help envision its motion control scheme. He's also taking it from the big screen and bringing it to your home computer, with his company's latest project, G-Speak.
Underkoffler unveiled G-Speak earlier this year at the TED conference, and demonstrated how to sift and organize reams of images intuitively. Its camera system is designed to interpret the user's hand gestures in true 3-dimensional space. Right now you need to wear a special pair of gloves to track motions properly, but Underkoffler assures that as the technology progresses, the gloves will go away.
Other companies, namely Microsoft and Nintendo, have already invested (and in Nintendo's case, earned) millions in this kind of technology, but mostly as part of a casual gaming experience. Underkoffler wants G-Speak to be more than a toy; he's predicting that it will be the standard interface for home systems within 5 years. Sounds promising, indeed. Now if only he can guarantee that it won't involve autistic precogs or a ridiculously proactive police force.