So for those of you who haven’t been privileged enough to see the movie, Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report was an epic that took place in the future, where police officers in a special crimes unit can arrest people before they make bad mistakes and commit crimes.
Orwellian similarities aside, the best bit of tech seen in the movie were the touch-interface gloves Tom Cruise uses in one scene where he’s in the debriefing room. And the gloves he wears are gesture-controlled, linked to an augmented reality computer that projects images before him (in fact, this entire scene was the basis for the design of Jarvis seen in the Ironman movies). Yeah, that’s a real thing today. Well the glove, that is.
The original idea of the gloves used in the movie was concocted through a brainstorming session in which Speilberg and his effects producers wanted to create the feeling of the technology in the movie being far more advanced than what was available at the time. Aside from the fact that the newly-released PS Vita blows my mind with its augmented reality potential, the gloves released today by Bellco are strikingly similar to those in the film.
The device has a gyroscope on the back of your palm to track movement from your hand and to differentiate vertical and horizontal adjustments. It has a wireless transmitter embedded, linked to another sensor in your index finger that has another sensor for more finely-tuned movements. The glove connects to your PC and uses a nanoUSB dongle to keep everything out of the way. The glove’s software works out of the box and is Windows, Mac OS X, Android and Linux compatible.
The biggest thing that pains me when people do presentations is that they have to use crummy wireless presenters, These days things need to have a bit more of a “wow” factor if you’re trying to jazz up a bored audience in your AGM meetings. The gloves move the cursor on the screen as you would a physical mouse, but movements don’t have to be sweeping or made with much effort for them to be detected. If you’re thinking “cool!”, then you’re not thinking big enough.
In Ironman, Stark moves objects around his 3D holotable with his hands, manipulating 3D objects with his fingers and with hand gestures to control Jarvis’ manual interface. He grabs something and sweeps it in the direction of the “Trash” bin, and it gets deleted. One particular showcase of what Jarvis could do is test out a design of the suit’s arm on Starks right forearm – that’s a real ongoing idea, again, but the glove at least lets people get the gist of the idea when you whip it out and control your machine on a 100″ Digital-Cinema 4k monitor.
Bellco’s made no mention of whether the glove actually supports gesture-based controls. It would be reasonable to assume so, since it uses the basic controls and software as the PS/2 mouse. However, like the Neural Impulse Actuator which NAG magazine reviewed eons ago, it may be a success, or it may fall by the wayside.
Buy it now at www.3dionwirelessairmouse.com. The single glove is available for $79.95 excluding shipping and only fits the right hand. Sorry lefties, Razer didn’t design this one.