SXSW 09 Session: Minority Report is Real

Minority Report User Interface
When you think of Minority Report most people think of that scene where Tom Cruise manipulates a large projection with a unique user interface using gloves with LEDs. That scene takes up less than 5 minutes of the movie yet it is so powerful that people who see any large touch screen or gesture interface invariably liken it to the Minority Report interface. This talk was about how science has influenced film in the realm of next generation interfaces and vice versa.

Incidentally when I was at the Ohare international airport, I walked by the Accenture Interactive Network (Wall) which was a project by my former coworkers at the Accenture Technology Labs. This project by researchers Kelly Dempski and Brandon Harvey was a giant high resolution multitouch projector screen. I won”t go into it since that isn”t really about the panel but you can read up on it some more here.

This talk covered user interfaces in films like Star Wars, Minority Report, Iron Man, Eagle Eye (which I now need to check out), The Matrix, as well as real research such as Johnny Chung Lee”s Wiimote hacking escapades, MIT”s Sixth Sense wearable tech, OpenCV, and g-speak (the real research that the Minority Report interface was based on). Microsoft technologies such as the Surface and and their vision of the future were also shown. The CNN hologram, which was new to me, made an appearance.

I thought they picked great examples of vision and scifi stuff, but IMHO, the presentation was very thin on actual research. I was hoping that there would be a 50/50 split between scifi film vision stuff and current research being done and what the state of the art was. It”s easy to understand why that was though. Most of the speakers came from film. Jeroen Lapre, one of the presenters had 12 years under his belt at Industrial Light and Magic.

Check out my Flickr feed from the talk.