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"Minority Report"-Like Control For PC 138

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the baby-steps dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A startup named Mgestyk Technologies claims that they have an affordable solution for 'Minority Report'-like PC control. They have released a video in which they use hand gestures to play games like Halo and Guitar Hero, as well as perform 'multi-touch' interactions for applications like Google Earth. Engadget and Gizmodo discuss the potential of the technology but point out that the system has visible lag when used for gaming. Will camera-based interfaces ever meet the low-latency demands of gaming? For how much longer will we still be using keyboards, mice and joysticks?"
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"Minority Report"-Like Control For PC

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  • Porno (Score:5, Funny)

    by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:58PM (#25682821) Homepage
    I definitely want Minority Report-like hand controls for porno.
  • by geekoid (135745) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `dnaltropnidad'> on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:59PM (#25682843) Homepage Journal

    , it will just require faster cameras with better movement algorithms.

    There reals question is do people want to stand there and point at the air with no tactile feed back?

    • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:11PM (#25682997) Homepage
      It would be healthier and yes I think people do want it. They don't mind looking like complete twats talking on their blue tooth headset or walking around with fanny packs and those two things along are more embarrassing than doing Minority Report-like hand movements, imo.
      • by holophrastic (221104) on Friday November 07, 2008 @08:31PM (#25684155)

        People seem to think that keyboards and mice are lower on the totem pole than hand gestures. That's just rediculous. Hand gestures are all but useless for the vast majority of interfaces, and it has nothing to do with latency or technology in general. I've been yelling at minority report since it was released. Have you ever tride boxing? At your local fitness gym for example? You can't keep your arms up for an hour -- your shoulders aren't built for it. Ten minutes of using hand gestures, and you'll be too exhausted to work anymore.

        Aside from physical strength, there's the obverse side of the coin. If you did have the muscles to hold up your arms, they'd be too strong for any degree of precision. Keyboards have a great feature besides tactile feedback -- they have discrete commands. If you try to press the letter "T", you aren't going to miss. You'll know that you've pushed it. And if you do miss, you'll know that you've missed.

        Consider trying to draw a straight line with hand gestures. It's going to be nearly impossible. Really easy with a keyboard.

        All of these "advanced" interfaces are nice for some specific scenarios, and tehy are all great gimmicks for consumer garbage. But they are rarely appropriate for real business. Voice recognition is a great example. There's one simple proof to why voice recognition won't ever be a as accurate as a keyboard -- talking isn't as accurate as writing. It's that simple. People mis-speak, and mis-hear all the time. Would you accept a voice recognition system that interupts you to say "sorry, what was that last word? I missed that." Of course not.

        Voice recognition certainly has uses, of course. If you lack fingers, or the space for a keyboard, or your hands are busy doing other things -- like flying a fighter jet -- certainly. But if you're composing an essay, or a report, or doing anything where accuracy matters. . .why not type up your resume by throwing a frisbee -- one foot for the letter A, two feet for the letter B., and so on.

        "pushing a button" is incredibly simple, incredibly easy, direct, and discrete. It's quantifyable, by all parties.

        • What you describe is called the "gorilla arm problem", in some circles.

          http://catb.org/jargon/html/G/gorilla-arm.html [catb.org]

        • You can't keep your arms up for an hour -- your shoulders aren't built for it. Ten minutes of using hand gestures, and you'll be too exhausted to work anymore.

          Who says you have to keep your arms up? You could have something like a Surface to replace the keyboard and mouse that sit on the (real, physical) desktop, and also make the screen itself touchable. It might be weird switching between the two, but I'm imagining something like a kiosk, perhaps with an adjustable-height "keyboardish" surface.

          Why yes,

          • Replace "can't keep your arms up for an hour" with "can't keep yoru head down for an hour" -- you'll get dizzy. The whole idea of your hands being within your vision is kind of wasteful -- propreoception means you know where your hands are precisely so that you needn't look at them. Hence touch-typing.

            Now, if you're saying have a touch interface instead of a keyboard, and still have a screen at eye-level, then you've simply removed the keyboard for another input device. Cool. Just don't lose the accurac

        • by ross.w (87751)
          I don't think the majority of slahdotters used to one handed surfing would have a problem with this.
          • I don't think the majority of slahdotters used to one handed surfing would have a problem with this.

            I disagree. In that application, they're still using a joystick.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

          You can't keep your arms up for an hour -- your shoulders aren't built for it. Ten minutes of using hand gestures, and you'll be too exhausted to work anymore.

          I think you have discovered the cure for the fitness problem among geeks and office workers alike.

          Consider trying to draw a straight line with hand gestures. It's going to be nearly impossible. Really easy with a keyboard.

          While I agree in principal with your beef, I totally disagree with this example.

          You assume that the hand-gesture interface for line drawing is going to look as closely like actually drawing a line as possible. That would be a terrible design decision and other than in the movies where there is dramatic effect, I don't think anyone would be so foolish as to implement it that way. A smart implementation would

          • Yes, granted, there are going to be interfaces that make such things appropriate. But in the end, is that really any easier? I've been designing programming interfaces for a long time, and I've chosen advanced applications with a similar eye -- yes of course I'd like advanced tasks to be made easier, but I never want easy tasks to be made more difficult. I'll sooner sacrifice the former for the latter.

            Double-click is a great example. My car makes me double-click the unlock on the remote to unlock the pa

            • Forest and the trees. I'm not saying my suggestion was the best, I'm just saying that picking the worst implementation is not a useful way to evaluate the paradigm.

          • by elhedran (768858)

            The parent is insightful post.

            Other instance of gestures would be for the couch potato. Sure, you can't hold your shoulders up for an hour, but then on my couch I'm not about to control my video continuously. Sure, there are early issues with accuracy etc, but they can be solved.

            The problem with gestures (up till now) is the lack of technology, AND the lack of research into how to use it well, which can't start meaningfully without the technology.

            Actually I'd really like it for home theatre control. No

        • by AnyoneEB (574727)

          Voice recognition certainly has uses, of course. If you lack fingers, or the space for a keyboard, or your hands are busy doing other things -- like flying a fighter jet -- certainly. But if you're composing an essay, or a report, or doing anything where accuracy matters. . .why not type up your resume by throwing a frisbee -- one foot for the letter A, two feet for the letter B., and so on.

          You seem to be sorta getting to the point here: use the right tool for the job. For normal text entry and most graphical interfaces, keyboard and mouse are the right tools. For applications like "sounds like" dictionary/spell check lookup or text entry on a device too small for a keyboard or when your hands are otherwise occupied (say, driving or, as you suggest, flying a jet), voice recognition (or subvocalization) is more likely to be the right tool. Other posters have suggested that when you want to mani

          • 100%. My beef is with the people and industries that push methodologies that are wildly inappropriate, for biased reasons. For example, the number of people who try to use their iPods for real business productivity is incredible, but it simply isn't built for it. Any executive who's building spreadsheet graphical reports on the iPod spends way too much time, and produces garbage that simply isn't worthy of presentation. It's not the iPod's fault, it's that people don't know what the right tool for the j

        • I worked in a photo lab for a time, and the photo editing software behind the counter was severly lacking, which meant i prefered to do a lot of the editing work on the kodak picture maker kiosk and burn it to a disc.

          Unfortunately, the KPM was a touchscreen interface, my arm would be sore after about 10 minutes of editing photos. But since i worked there and had the keys i'd always just pop the back panel off and plug in a mouse. Much quicker and more precise than the touchscreen and so much easier on my el

    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      We have the cameras, at least. A friend of mine works for an outfit that develops drivers for them and related capture boards. The real problem is expense (which always tends to decrease-- just look at optical media technology) and demand. We may have the tech, but if people decide that their current interfaces are good enough, then it's going to go nowhere.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by grumbel (592662)

      it will just require faster cameras with better movement algorithms.

      Depends, at least with traditional "gesture detection" that won't help. The problem with gesture detection is that you have to actually complete your gesture before the computer can start to analyzing your movement and figure out what you just did, which leads to the expected lag and can't be fixed with a faster camera or computer, since you still have to complete your gesture. The only way to fix this is if one can manage to move away from gestures to true 1:1 mapping where there aren't gestures, but just

    • by trdrstv (986999)

      , it will just require faster cameras with better movement algorithms.

      There reals question is do people want to stand there and point at the air with no tactile feed back?

      I do.

  • Energy Expended (Score:4, Insightful)

    by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:59PM (#25682847)
    Ahh yes even more opportunity to damage my body with repetitive motions!
    • Yes, except this time rahter then being in a wrist brace you'll be in a full body cast. It's the future baby! Yeahh!

  • hmm.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by max99ted (192208) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:00PM (#25682853)

    ..I thought this type of input was found to be tiring after using it for only 5 or 10 minutes? Or is that just for slashdot types? :)

    • Re:hmm.. (Score:5, Funny)

      by eln (21727) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:13PM (#25683009) Homepage

      ..I thought this type of input was found to be tiring after using it for only 5 or 10 minutes? Or is that just for slashdot types? :)

      Did you even see the movie? On these types of systems, you can do anything you need to do in less than 30 seconds, after which it's time for more high-speed chases.

      Clearly, you just don't understand high technology.

    • Re:hmm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Strange Ranger (454494) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:43PM (#25683301)
      It always seemed silly to me to track hand movements for basic computing.

      Neil Stephenson had it right in Snow Crash with Hiro's computer/terminal.

      Track eye movements. A wink is a click. A two-eyed wink could be back, or escape.
      Such a system could work with goggles or sci-fi contact lenses.
      If we need to add hands on top of that for gaming or CAD or Photoshop, that would be fine.
      But the basics start with what we're looking at, with our eyes.

      OF course that doesn't make such an easily cool looking moving scene.
      • Re:hmm.. (Score:4, Informative)

        by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:57PM (#25683425)
        Track eye movements. A wink is a click. A two-eyed wink could be back, or escape. Such a system could work with goggles or sci-fi contact lenses. If we need to add hands on top of that for gaming or CAD or Photoshop, that would be fine. But the basics start with what we're looking at, with our eyes.

        The several years old 'Nouse' [newscientist.com]. Nose tracking for mouse movement, blinks for mouse clicks.
      • Track eye movements. A wink is a click. A two-eyed wink could be back, or escape. Such a system could work with goggles or sci-fi contact lenses.

        Yeah, but think of all the random muscle spasms that would come out of that. It would get really annoying really quickly...

      • by Repton (60818)

        So I'll be using involuntary reflexes to control my behaviour online?

        Actually, maybe that's not so different after all...

    • by aussie_a (778472)

      What's the difference between that and a Wii? Besides the fact you don't have to lift a dongle to do it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:01PM (#25682873)

    Everything should be tactile push buttons, dials and levers.

    • by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:04PM (#25682919)

      Everything should be tactile push buttons, dials and levers.

      I'm tired of you damn kids coming along and thinking every new fangled method of connecting electro-mechanical circuits is just the bees knees! I do believe toggle switches and rope/pulley systems have served us well for this long and can continue to serve us well into the future!

      • Toggle switches were fine for Scotty and Sulu. They're good enough for me.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)
          Don't forget the big rotary knob. You HAD to have the big rotary knob for when Scotty or Kirk had to really crank up the juice.
      • Actually, that is something to consider. In Star Trek everyone is constantly pushing on flat interfaces everywhere. I would think that I'd get pretty bored with that fairly quickly. Tom Paris did, which led him to creating basic button, switch, and lever controls for the Delta Flyer.
        • by geekoid (135745)

          Which was lame as hell..second only to the joystick Riker used.

          Completely misses the point.

        • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Friday November 07, 2008 @10:06PM (#25684781) Homepage

          typing into a keyboard or sliding a mouse around all day isn't particularly exciting either. but input devices aren't meant to be exciting or interesting. they're supposed to be useful/practical.

          touch screens are so popular because they're intuitive and easy to use. the more natural an input device feels, the more transparent it becomes, and the more effective it is at its job. ideally, the input device should be unnoticeable to the user. they should feel like they're directly manipulating & interacting with the virtual content on the screen.

          the ball-mouse was adopted so quickly because it greatly reduces the effort needed to interact with computer software. when your hand is on the mouse, the cursor becomes just an extension of your arm. moving the pointer becomes effortless and natural. whereas, with a keyboard you have to fiddle with a bunch of clumsy arrow buttons, and this creates a virtual & psychological gap between the user and the software they're trying to interact with.

          the touch screen is an evolution of the mouse cursor. with it you can directly point and touch items on the screen to interact with them. there's no need for a mouse or pointer. that eliminates another gap between the user and the virtual environment.

          • two things come to mind when thinking of the screen as the input, either the screen will remain in roughly the same position and hands will get tired... move it to your looking down and im assuming increased neck strain? im sure a happy medium can be found. but i also wonder how the screen would provide an analogue for a highly sensitive mouse. i got mine sky high so my hand moves as little as possible... just some thoughts!
            • it all depends on the application i guess. i remember when i was in elementary school (in Taiwan) there were computer desks coming out that let you place the monitor (CRTs back then) inside the actual desk so that it sits under a pane of glass and is angled upward at the user. this provided a more ergonomic work environment that put minimal strain on the user's neck (it's sorta like reading a book).

              as a graphic designer and having to focus on the screen for hours at a time when working on a composition, i'd

      • Everything should be tactile push buttons, dials and levers.

        I do believe toggle switches and rope/pulley systems have served us well for this long and can continue to serve us well into the future!

        Amateur. In ancient Thundera, we used Fire and Ice!

    • by westlake (615356)
      Everything should be tactile push buttons, dials and levers.
      .

      This was the last year for our pull-the-lever voting machines.

      Invented here in upstate New York and first used in Lockport in 1892. Vote: The Machinery of Democracy [si.edu]

      I will miss them.

      Each little lever snapping into place with a loud and satisfying "Clack!" and revealing a clear and unmistakable red X.

      There was never any ambiguity about what you had done and everything was reversible until you pulled the one big Big lever and exited the boot

  • I just ordered an OCZ NIA today. This after having reviewed the three top contenders in the arena of brain-controlled input devices. Kind of disappointed that the new one from Emotiv isn't available yet - with its additional electrodes and gyros to detect head position it looks like a promising piece of gear.

    One of the cool things from the demo video of the Emotiv EPOC was that of their official game where you use the controller for, well, everything. One of the clips showed a man levitating a boulder ingam

    • thought commands definitely have a lot of potential to supersede all other input devices/technologies. i've never seen, or heard of, the OCZ NIA or Emotiv EPOC, but if there are effective neural signal monitors that aren't prohibitively expensive, i'd be interested to learn more about them.

      if an advanced neural interface can be developed to accurately read thought commands, conventional input devices would become largely obsolete. paraplegics and other users with disabilities would benefit greatly from such

  • by mcfatboy93 (1363705) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:03PM (#25682901) Homepage
    with the rate at which computers are getting faster it won't be long until we can use things like this to play games. just imagine useing this to play halo with a plastic gun and running around in a human sized hamster ball. the utimate virtual reality
  • Not efficient (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jamesshuang (598784) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:07PM (#25682943) Homepage
    I find the allure of making Minority Report devices rather... funny. The movie itself already shows one REALLY good reason why these interfaces are awful. When he tries to shake the guy's hand, the interface suddenly resets itself. You can't "snap out" of the interface like you can letting go of a mouse. It really only looks cool. After waving your arms in the air for 5 min without support, you'll wish you had the mouse and keyboard back...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LandDolphin (1202876)
      Maybe it would make sitting in front of a desk workign on the computer more healthy? Would that be a bad thing?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jamesshuang (598784)
        Such a device wouldn't be exercising the right muscles. For one thing, there's no way you'd be able to work up a sweat waving your arms around like that. So, definitely not aerobic activity. For another thing, that's only likely to give you all sorts of odd repetitive stress problems.
        • by karnal (22275)

          For one thing, there's no way you'd be able to work up a sweat waving your arms around like that.

          At the risk of not sounding very pc, I know people that nearly have a heart attack walking up one flight of stairs (they stop in the landing in-between) so there are people who could work up a sweat doing this.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      For some tasks these types of interfaces are very well-suited. Virtual surgery comes to mind as one example. Another might be the manipulation of objects in 3D remotely, such as on a battlefield in order to remotely disarm IEDs, where the feel of texture and a natural interface would be important. Why does everybody think that an input device is crap if it doesn't give them an edge in [insert favorite video game here]? I use a trackball at work due to RSI, and it works very well for long hours at a terminal

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jamesshuang (598784)
        For surgery devices like what you're suggesting, look at some current haptics research. I'm actually participating in some of this stuff, where you stick your fingers in two little armatures. These armatures use inverse kinematics to determine the location of your fingers in space, and allow you to manipulate a 3D world. It's really really convincing, because you can "feel" the objects. The armatures give you very real feedback on the boundaries, stiffness, and texture of the object you're manipulating.

        A
  • Between touch screens, voice recognition, and breakthroughs that are already happening concerning controlling computers through thought...

    Kids born in 2050 probably will not know what qwerty is.
    • by mqduck (232646)

      Which is exactly what the visionaries who keep developing this useless but pretty junk keep telling themselves.

  • The thought of performing silly motions over and over again, or their name.

  • How about the johnny mnemonic data gloves?

  • by ATestR (1060586) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:19PM (#25683085) Homepage

    I saw the title of the article and for a moment I almost thought that this was a software package that would allow your computer to see future crimes that you might be involved in, contact the authorities, and have you arrested. Then I read the paragraph and was greatly disappointed.

    • by riceboy50 (631755)
      I thought exactly the same thing. We really need to stop reading so many Big Brother technology stories!
    • What, does this story display with "Australia" somewhere in the title for you?
    • by ljw1004 (764174)

      Along the RIAA lines that if you have bittorrent on your computer then you're likely doing illegal file-sharing...

  • Three Words... (Score:5, Informative)

    by FFCecil (623749) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:23PM (#25683123)

    Johnny Chung Lee

    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/projects/wii/ [cmu.edu]

    He did this ages ago with nothing but a Wii remote, some IR LEDs, and bits of reflective tape. And all his code is openly available!

    If you're interested, take a look around his site at some of the other stuff he's done... and not just with Wii remotes, either. The man is a genius. I love the projector calibration work he did. I mean, he's turned folding fans and umbrellas into screens!

  • How much longer will we be using keyboards and mice for gaming? Well, until you can shoot me faster than I can flick my wrist and waste you of course. And the camera support will not be added to games for a very simple reason: You don't want to see what other gamers look like in front of their PCs. Really, you don't.

  • this useless but pretty junk

    The new interfaces I listed are useless but pretty! I already know people who use voice recognition to chat on IM's instead of typing because it is quicker. More intuitive and efficient interfaces are about as far from useless as you can get. Can you surf the internet mearly by thinking about it.... No. Will we get there? Yes.

    Admittedly, not everything that is being developed is going to be revolutionary right out of the box. Progress rarely works in leaps.

  • Talk about timing. I'm considering building a gesture control system for my TV as a project in a comp vision class. The image recognition from a vid camera is fairly straight forward. However, I'm not certain what HW I will need to take in digital TV signal (assuming Haup TV card) and that export pic/sound to my TV via HDMI cable after processing. I want to enable image pause/zoom/draw menus, buttons/etc., which is why I need to intercept pic. Anyway, processing time and resulting latency would seem to ma
    • by theurge14 (820596)

      "Talk about timing. I'm considering building a gesture control system for my TV as a project in a comp vision class"

      On the contrary, good timing would have been you building this BEFORE the election...

  • by MentlFlos (7345) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:37PM (#25683237) Homepage
    Even the video in TFA is wrong. This is not a primary input device but great for niche usage.

    At work we are setting up public use, always on, video conference stations in public locations. One of the large problems we are running into is controlling the 2-4 large flat panels or projectors in these locations. A keyboard and mouse would walk away and is impractical. A secondary device with a lower resolution "mirror" to manipulate would be nice, but still is not practical for several reasons.

    My boss wants to be able to point at the machine and have it do something. This is exactly what we are looking for. We are only interfacing with the machine for up to one minute at a time and then it is all talking via the video conferencing with whomever is on the other end of the line.

    RIT AG info [rit.edu]

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gznork26 (1195943)

      A suggested enhancement: to use this sort of interface during a presentation, you'd want to enable and disable the thing so you could also use your hands for emphasis while you talk. Perhaps a voice-recognition system listening for a keywords to toggle it. Then it would become a very fluid process to do the presentation, using the screen only when you want to.

      +++
      JMS is writing a sequel movie to Forbidden Planet.
      Read my take on the Krell's side of it at:
      klurgsheld.wordpress.com/2007/09/18/short-story-singula

  • I think the idea is good, but some form of haptic feedback would really complete it. I remember reading about some research into tricking us into feeling like we're getting solid tactile feedback when in reality it's a slight vibration. That kind of change could also make playing Mario Kart Wii with the wii-wheel slightly less horrible. When I read about it the tech was being applied to touch screen cell phones so it felt like you were really pressing a raised button instead of a flat screen.
  • by Bones3D_mac (324952) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:54PM (#25683401)

    The biggest problem facing in-air hand gesturing is that it requires some level of stamina to maintain continual use. For sifting through data that could be done via other means, this just isn't practical due to the eventual strain it places on the user. It's sort of like trying to paint a ceiling. At first you're fine, but the longer you do it, your efficiency starts drop at a sharp curve.

    Technologies like multi-touch and Microsoft's "surface" simply make more sense for extended use, since they allow the user to rest against the surface they're interacting with. The same is true of mice, keyboards and track pads.

    Another example of this is to compare the Nintendo Wii's motion control setup against more traditional controllers, such as those on the Xbox 360. In a marathon gaming session, the user is going to tire out far quicker and need more breaks on the Wii side, while the worst you might get from the more traditional controller setup is an uncomfortable cramp a few hours in.

    This is the same reason why virtual reality never really took off during the early 90s. It put too many physical demands on the user.

    • by ErikZ (55491) *

      The biggest problem facing in-air hand gesturing is that it requires some level of stamina to maintain continual use. For sifting through data that could be done via other means, this just isn't practical due to the eventual strain it places on the user. It's sort of like trying to paint a ceiling. At first you're fine, but the longer you do it, your efficiency starts drop at a sharp curve.

      I'm surprised that no one see this as a feature instead of a bug.

      If the user gets too tired from waving his/her arms ar

  • More reasons to wave our hands around like idiots.
  • Wouldn't this be a great deal more effective if it could pin-point your view point aswell?

  • The first thing I thought of when it said "Minority Report like control" was the complete loss of privacy and totalitarian fascist monitoring of citizens with the added benefit of never being able to escape advertisements ever again.

    Part of me thinks I might actually need to visit an eastern European ex-con with a nasty ass nurse just to get some of my own privacy back in the future.

    If we are going to really concentrate on obtaining any technology from that movie it should be that virtual room with all the

    • The first thing I thought of when it said "Minority Report like control" was the complete loss of privacy and totalitarian fascist monitoring of citizens with the added benefit of never being able to escape advertisements ever again.

      Part of me thinks I might actually need to visit an eastern European ex-con with a nasty ass nurse just to get some of my own privacy back in the future.

      If we are going to really concentrate on obtaining any technology from that movie it should be that virtual room with all the stripper girls grinding on that dude.

      Indeed, every time I look at this article I get an involuntary but momentary chill of primal terror.

      Given the recent news from france and australia, it evokes all the negative aspects of the movie, rather than the cool futuristic hardware.

  • New/Old Tech (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Oligonicella (659917) on Friday November 07, 2008 @07:26PM (#25683707)
    "For how much longer will we still be using keyboards, mice and joysticks?"

    We've been using pencils and paper how long now? Just because a cool tech shows up doesn't mean the old tech will go away.
  • It' been pointed out before, waving your hands in the air in front of you is tiring and most of all anything but accurate.

    How about some input devices that are easy to make AND useful? Ever thought about multi purpose foot pedals? If nothing else, you could put four buttons of your mouse onto your feet. I'd love that for games. You get pedals for flight sims, race sims (with the accompanying wheel), which work as two analog buttons, basically, but did nobody ever have the idea to implement something as simp

      • Yes, thank you, I know about those. How about pedals that act like some additional mouse buttons or mapable to keyboard buttons?

    • with all due respect, a contact on the end of a finger is pretty precise.

      You wouldn't be waving your hands constantly unless you game, in which case you'd probably be using some VR input method, and of course nothing is preventing you from using legacy input.

      • Of course it is. But it is ONE contact.

        You'll have noticed that mice today have an incredible collection of additional buttons. Some more sensibly placed than others, but in general you have mice with four, six or ten buttons. Programmable, mapable, whatever. Yet, they all require you to move your hand or fingers to press them, something you might not really be comfortable with when playing games where good aim and swift reaction are key to success.

        I could well see digital input pedals for actions that are

  • For how much longer will we still be using keyboards, mice and joysticks?"

    Oh, probably for as long as people want to sit quietly at their PCs to perform their tasks. Who wants to flail their arms around like a spastic monkey in order to surf the web?

    ::considers the wii::

    Erm, scratch that.

  • Not the first ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Friday November 07, 2008 @11:01PM (#25685125)

    A startup named Mgestyk Technologies claims that they have an affordable solution for 'Minority Report'-like PC control.

    The tech in Johnny Mnemonic predates Minority Report by a number of years, and Keanu Reeves hand-waving while interfacing with the global network was prophetic, it sounds like.

    For how much longer will we still be using keyboards, mice and joysticks?

    Forever, or until we get a direct neural interface. Most people don't want to hold their hands up in the air all day. It's tiring.

  • This has a very beta feel to it, but I don't see a "right" or "wrong" here.

    We're simply talking about "one of many" input methods. I find it interesting that there is always immediate talk about the death of one thing or another - it depends what you use it for and if it is a suitable substitute. Take mice, if you use the mouse all the time you're (a) risking a lot of RSI and (b) are inefficient. Learning keyboard shortcuts -especially for commands you use often- allows you to work much faster (I presume

  • When I looked at this headline, I began to think this guy found a way to remotely embed firmware into computers to determine whether someone will file-share in the future, and call the FBI to arrest the owner.

    Every time I read it, it evokes that same dystopian image.

    It'd be hilarious to me if this reaction was not primal and automatic. Given this, it's quite disturbing.

  • by nilbog (732352)

    I've always wanted to flip through coverflow one aggravating album at a time. It would take me all day and some serious arm strain to make it through my whole collection.

The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.

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