The project was started in stealth mode. It was uncovered in November 2008 as Oblong Industries and their clients were several governments, including the United States. They are developing a Minority Report-like user interface and itâ€™s ready for public unveiling. In fact, Oblongâ€™s stuff looks cooler than the sequences of a futuristic user interface that Steven Spielberg showed in his 2002 sci-fi film. According to Tech Crunchâ€™s MG Siegler, â€œif youâ€™ve seen the movie Minority Report, youâ€™ve seen the system theyâ€™re building.â€
That shouldnâ€™t come as a surprise. John Underkoffler, the co-founder of a 25 person Los Angeles-based startup actually imagined a gesture-based computer interface for Spielbergâ€™s film. The movie producers offered Underkoffler, who was at the time working at the MIT Media Lab, to serve as a science consultant for the movie.
This past Friday, Underkoffler has finally demoed a working prototype of that user interface at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. Dubbed the g-speak Spatial Operating Environment, the system lets you zoom in and out, push objects aside and bring them to the foreground, rotate objects, etc.
All of this is accomplished with special gloves that you wear to interact with the interface in six degrees of control, like Tom Cruise did in the Minority Report movie. Underkoffler is adamant that the technology will find its way into everyday computers in a five-years time. According to the New York Times, this gesture technology is already being used in Fortune 50 companies, government agencies, and universities.