Just Like Minority Report, Only Really, Really Ugly

Hey, speaking of things in 2010 that feel like they came from the 80’s – no, not me – check out these gloves. Robert Wang, an MIT student, and his professor Jovan Popović, have developed the ugliest gloves I’ve ever seen in my life.

But there’s a purpose for the fashion faux pas being committed here, and I’ll touch on that in a moment – first, you’re probably still wondering why the hell I’m talking about gloves to begin with.

Simply put, you’re looking at the future of gesture interfaces. Wang and Popović have managed to develop gesture gloves that actually digitally recreate your entire hand, allowing for much more control than traditional, fingertip-based systems.

So why are they so… ugly? The system works via webcam – the computer has to be able to SEE the gloves, and so Wang and Popović chose colors that could easily be rendered distinct from each other and the background, for the computer to be able to render an accurate model. That said, if your tablecloth sports a similar color scheme, you’re boned.

Nevertheless, this design is really impressive – there is almost zero latency, the simulation is absurdly accurate, and the gloves cost less than a dollar. The future of interaction meets the past of fashion? You bet.

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[Via Switched]

Written by Ty Dunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.

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  • Blaney

    This is cool, but I guess I find myself wondering what the difference between this and the seemingly much more advanced Project Natal Microsoft has developed (based on the tech demos.) I’m guessing this is more precise but if anyone can elaborate I would appreciate it.

    • Hey Blaney. I’m no expert on Natal, but I think the difference here is again, the simple ugliness of the gloves. The camera can read the garish colours way more easily, differentiating them from everything else, thus getting a more accurate bead on the exact location and shape of your hand. Natal, while definitely being more advanced, has to deal with all the visual noise of a typical living room environment in an attempt to make your experience more seamless. So while you won’t need uglygloves, you’ll have to sacrifice the sheer exactness you’d get with them.

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