Science Fiction Reality – GUI Design

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Minority Report science adviser and inventor John Underkoffler demos g-speak the real-life version of the film’s eye-popping, tai chi-meets-cyberspace computer interface. Is this how tomorrow’s computers will be controlled?

John Underkoffler

Underkoffler was born on June 30, 1967, in Pennsylvania. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned an S.B. in 1988, an M.S. in 1991, and a Ph.D. in 1999, all in media arts and sciences. As part of his doctoral work he invented a system known as the Luminous Room, which utilized his I/O Bulb to transform architectural space to make each surface present capable of displaying and collecting visual information. Also based on work done while pursuing his Ph.D., Underkoffler designed a gestural interface system that came to be known as G-Speak, which allows users to navigate and interact with data in an unprecedented, visually rich, natural and responsive manner. G-Speak would interpret a user's motion to move through datasets without him or her needing to use a computer mouse or any other physical object to do so. Underkoffler served as a technical advisor for Steven Spielberg's film "Minority Report" starring Tom Cruise to create the film's gestural interface language, based on his own unique idea. Moviegoers were able to watch Cruise stand before a screen and "motion" his way through massive databases of images, stopping, pausing, and zooming in on any that caught his interest.

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