For most people, including me, the introduction to a transparent computer display
that interacts with hand and head gesturing began in 2002 with the movie "Minority Report." Such a concept was not out of the realm of possibilities
ten years ago, but even so, the scenes were not "real" in that the display would
have to be superimposed over the actor's phantom motions in front of a green screen.
Now we have this video of a for-real transparent display that is being developed
by Microsoft. Sensors on the back track airborne hand and finger movement for manipulating
objects on the screen. The advantages over a touch screen are many, including not
blocking your view of the screen, keeping fingerprints off the screen, and adding
a third dimension to the action. It is tempting to think that something like this
would be difficult to adapt to using, but that's what was said of the mouse when
it was first introduced. My biggest problem would be having the keyboard out of
view behind the display, since my fumbling fingers would make even more mistakes
than normal. It also breaks the accepted ergonomic model for healthy long-term computer
usage. Of course this is just an R&D model, so most of the kinks will be worked
out of the interface by the time it goes to market.
I guess it's another sign of my having crossed the half-century mark, but I have
to ask, "Are those two old enough to be working at MS? I'd more expect to see them
working a lemonade stand ;-)"
Microsoft Transparent Desktop
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