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Andy Wilson - First look at MSR's "touch light"

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Mike Hall took his video camera over to Microsoft Research's faculty summit recently and met up with Stewart Tansley.

Stewart gets us a demo of a new "touchlight" prototype. It's a new kind of touch screen and could lead to new kinds of user interaction experiences.

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  • Be2Be2
    Virtual Space. Gaming.

    Instead of walking out the door to go to work I walk into my Screen and cooperate with whoever is there.

    I Would certainly save GAS!
  • The way the hand was being moved over the screen made me think about moving windows and giving them some inertia (does the minority report on do this?).  Does anybody have any information (papers or whatever) on the usability of windows that keep moving when you drag them out of the way?
  • eddwoeddwo Wheres my head at?
    It's a popular UI concept now. I like the flexibility of just picking things up and sliding things around, though I think my arms would get tired if I had to do it all day.
    A recent TV ad for Dixons in the UK had a Minority Report style interface.
  • Forget about any type of bussiness app, I can see myself browsing the complete internet with this type of interface. (isn't that what Tom Cruise did in Minority Report? Lookup information in some sort of document style app? Can't remember myself)

    Mapping sites, pages and links into 3D space
    Being able to move them around and manipulate each page as a window on the screen.

    Now that would be a killer app; a 3D browser with this interface.

    Andy: question? When looking at the video, the camera images seem to have some sort of 3D effect. I would assume that with goggles, real 3D could be achieved.
    Is there any thinking going on about that? (I did not yet read the paper)
  • NetRyder wrote:
    Minority Report becoming a reality =)


    I think Earth:Final Conflict was there way before Minority Report Smiley
  • Actually TouchLight is my work, not Stewart Tansley's.  In this video, Stewart is interviewing me (Andy Wilson) who's showing the demo in the video.

    TouchLight will be presented in October at the International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces (ICMI 2004).  A copy of the paper can be found at

    http://research.microsoft.com/~awilson/papers/icmi2004touchlight.pdf">http://research.microsoft.com/~awilson/papers/icmi 2004 touchlight.pdf

    I'm very appreciative of all your comments!

    Andy Wilson

  • Obviously it has some great military applications, the first one being a TOC (Tactical Operations Command) board for displaying troop placements of both friendly and OPFOR.  This way everyone in the TOC has complete access from both sides (much easier from briefings), and then this could be linked and shared with the ALOC (Army Logistical Operations Command). 
      In this way, the board becomes much easier to update, and you can also demonstrate real time across the battlefield to the S1/S4 (Personnel/Supply) what is going on, how the battlefield is moving and taking shape, and with multi-linking capabilities you can transmit this data both up and down the chain of command and do briefing as well as Operations Orders to the smaller units. 

     Additionally as the technology progesses, with smaller mobile ones that can link via sattelite, your SPECOPS forces now have a real time vision of the battlefield, plus a way to input data to the commander.

      One more thing that would be really cool to see would be the ability to take your images and layer them and then bring them to a full 3D projection.  For example, you lay in your terrain input which has been taken from sattelite, drone, etc. and rendered from 3D to 2D, then you lay in your friendly and OPFOR forces, put a scale on it for accuracy, rotate the window to a horizontal position and project your 3D image much like a hologram with rotational ability for a better study of the battlefield and troop movement/access, and weapons placement.

    OK...sorry, 12 years in the Army will do that to a person.  Smiley  LOL
  • jjjj J.J.
    Maybe put it in a windowframe in your home. if it is turned off, it's just a window. if turned on, it's a tv painting, tv, pc desktop etc.
  • I think the technology exists today.
    it's called a Heliodisplay.

    http://www.io2technology.com/dojo/168/v.jsp
  • This would be useful for designing artwork. Or laying out documents in desktop publishing. Or even manipulating and creating CAD/CAM shapes.

    You could, say, define a rectangle, and with your two hands pull it to your desired size and dimensions.

    You could apply spin to objects, and use it like a virtual potter's wheel, or a virtual lathe.

  • Why not make the entire conference room tabletop into one big touch screen.  I suppose there would be problems with that, though, if somebody spilled coffee, pounded their fist on the table, etc.

    Say, are you guys working on any transparent aluminum yet?
  • Stevan VeselinovicSteve411 Me, all suited up!
    Place a huge image in the back: For example an image of a tutorial for app development. The requirements etc. Use your hands to point to specific places.. eh.. Good bye laser pointers.. What would be cool is if he made the wand work with that as well..
  • Jeremy WJeremy W that blogging guy
    Except that that isn't Minority Report at all @ vect, because there's no visual / tactile interface.

    Nice technology, but I could easily see this taking 10-20 years to become any kind of a reality. He kind of brushed over how this could actually be applicable to anything.

    The conferencing idea is, of course, flawed, because all you'd really need for conferencing is a camera with glass you can see through and project onto. Much easier to do that than what he's doing.

    I'd be interested in hearing more people's thoughts on how this could be applicable in a real world type of scenario, and beneficial to users in a real world scenario.
  • minority report NOW Big Smile
    www.fingerworks.com
  • mikehallmikehall Mike
    I was thinking exactly the same thing when recording the video - I wonder if that's where the project idea came from ;O)

    - Mike
  • NetRyderNetRyder Tech Junkie
    Minority Report becoming a reality =)
  • hmm ... interesting technology.  Wouldn't it be cool if, say a business with two offices in different parts of the country could simply install this new video conferencing technology.  They would basically have a real-time "window" to the other office ... that rocks!
  • Smiley
    I also have a demo.
    We develop a vision-based 3D bimanual gesture interface system.
    Please see my demo at: http://140.114.78.112/
    and leave me a message.
  • Matrix: Reloaded also featured a similar interface to the one in Minority Report.

    This UI makes Aero Glass look so old hat...

    Time for MS to develop a new UI from scratch...

  • hey take it one step further, assume a big fiber optic grid hooked direct into many of these touchlights, we may be able to view and/or interact in a NxN setting.
  • All nice and lovely..however

    http://fastcompany.com/video/general/perceptivepixel.html

    Perceptive Pixel is there already Smiley
  • I can't wait until computers have multitouch technology built-in with voice commands. Why the need for ancient peripherals like the keyboard and mouse when can just control everything with your hand? Moving windows with your fingers and open files by tapping on them. Give voice commands to the computer and then let it type away your report or presentation. That would be awesome.

    I think we have been stuck with the keyboard and mouse for too long and it's time for a change. I will be waiting for my 52" Touchscreen LCD TV/HTPC and hopefully it will come with a pair of virtual gloves that will allow me to control the tv or computer with hand gestures from the comfort of my own couch.

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