According to a new report by Juniper Research, the largely “point and click” style computer and Internet interactions with which humans have become so familiar are going to enter a paradigm shift in the coming years. According to a new study, by the beginning of the next decade, humans will largely interface with online (and offline) electronics via physical actions and gestures reminiscent of the 2002 science fiction film, Minority Report.
Juniper Research asserts that by 2020, “There will be as many as 492 million motion and gesture-tracking devices.” This incredible 280% increase suggests “gesture and motion control will become vital for certain forms of human-computer interaction in the coming years.”
In Minority Report, which is based on a 1956 science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick, Tom Cruise plays Police Chief John Anderton, whose PreCrime division sources future info from specially harvested humans. These “PreCogs” possess extrasensory perception.
In some of the more memorable sequences of the film, director Steven Spielberg features Cruise in command of a seemingly endless universe of virtualized charts, graphs, and animated digital info.
According to Juniper’s new Gesture, Motion & Haptics interface research, in only a few years most Web users will be handling information this way. Interestingly, traditional devices, like PCs and even smartphones, are not expected to adopt gesture and motion control with anywhere near the same frequency. In fact, the innovation Juniper expects to spearhead the change is virtual reality. Virtual reality headsets and wearables such as smart watches and glasses are uniquely suited to integrate motion and gesture tracking.
While this all seems like an unlikely magnitude of change to occur in just three years, recent reports on virtual reality and augmented reality support such a rapid and massive paradigm shift. According to another recent report, Apple expects new AR headsets and VR glass wearables to dominate the entertainment market in as little as two years. Evidently, before he died, Steve Jobs had envisioned the VR takeover and set plans into motion for Apple to be on top of the trend.
The precognitive policing of Minority Report could become reality, too. The technology of 2020 probably won’t include ‘PreCogs’ floating in water and generating dream-visions of the next murder, but there are some analysts who think nation-states will wield complex predictive crime programs in the near future. And some manifestations of this technology exist now. But will these nascent technologies mature to be full-blown PreCrime divisions? It’s hard to know.
After all, hindsight is 2020 — or is it?
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