Print 45 comment(s) - last by The Raven.. on Dec 14 at 10:31 AM

For using off-the-shelf components, MIT researcher Garratt Gallagher's hand-driven interface is quite impressive.  (Source: MIT-CSAIL via YouTube)

The system uses the Xbox 360's shiny new Kinect accessory and open-source libraries.  (Source: Engadget)
Now why didn't Microsoft include THIS with its Kinect bundle

It's frustrating to always watch films like The Minority Report and Iron Man II where characters zip through their ultra-productive days, leveraging exotic interfaces that perform the toughest tasks and ease.  And they even look cool using these visualizations to boot.  But when the movie light fades, you're off to your car with its boring old dash display and probably will greet work the next day in front of the same boring old UI.

Fortunately, the brains at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (MIT-CSAIL, for short) have created [video] a real life exotic interface that uses a gaming console that you might find in your family den or living room.

Using ROS ("an open-source, meta-operating system for your robot") and libfreenet ("a lower-level API for sending and receiving messages over a Freenet connection, and for reading and writing raw data streams"), and an off-the-shelf Xbox 360 with Microsoft Kinect, MIT researcher Garratt Gallagher has created a system similar to 
The Minority Report's hand driven GUI.

The Microsoft Kinect can "see" the position of your fingers and palms, allowing you to control your floating GUI with ease.  You can resize images, move them around, spin them, delete them, scroll down a list of images, or relegate images to a special tray in the demonstration.

There's probably a few questions on your mind now.  First, why didn't Microsoft think this up in the first place?  Well, give the folks at Microsoft some credit for designing as impressive a piece of hardware as the Kinect -- that made life for Mr. Gallagher a whole lot easier.  But hopefully Microsoft does take note and decides to scoop up this idea and add it to the default Kinect bundle.

Your second question might be, how did this MIT researcher come up with such a intriguing GUI?  Well his creation is perhaps less than surprising, given that the design team for 
The Minority Report and other typical futuristic flicks are full of MIT alumnis.  For example The Minority Report leveraged the talents of MIT Media Lab alumnus John Underkoffler and former MIT architecture dean William J. Mitchell.  

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Games, Maybe. Work, Never.
By DaveLessnau on 12/9/2010 11:33:18 AM , Rating: 2
Using this kind of UI (manipulating objects by holding your arms out in front of you and moving them about) might be workable for games. But, unless you want to cripple yourself within a couple of hours, it's a ridiculous thing to suggest for any production environment. People have carpal tunnel problems now. Imagine the stress on your arms, shoulders, and back this kind of interface would cause.

RE: Games, Maybe. Work, Never.
By zmatt on 12/9/2010 3:46:17 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree, before the computer age we sued our arms much more in daily activities. it may at first be tiring to people used to typing all day, but many people use their arms all day in their job and have no problem. If anything, it is healthier because you are more active.

RE: Games, Maybe. Work, Never.
By Akrovah on 12/9/2010 4:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
Hehe..."we sued our arms"


RE: Games, Maybe. Work, Never.
By ekv on 12/9/2010 10:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
Good ol' gorilla arm. From the days of yore and light-pen interfaces. I believe the article, as well as the video, mentions something about recognizing hands and fingertips.

Don't forget the microphone "array".

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

Related Articles

Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki