Touch Screen Computing No Longer Star Trek Fantasy

We’ve all heard the tech world make promises to transform the technology inustry and sometimes the world. Now a new startup company called Oblong Industries which grew out of the Media Lab in MIT demonstrated something that might deliver on that promise.

The Oblong operating system, known as g-speak, dispenses with decades-old mouse technology and allows users to control what’s happening on their screens by gesturing, pointing and other hand motions.

They plucked pieces of images from one display and dragged them to other locations, or drew a pattern on the screen then rotated it to create three-dimensional image. The impression was of an orchestra conductor, using simple hand motions to tell his computer what to do. Los Angeles-based Oblong calls it the spatial operating environment.

Oblong has existed for several years, but had been operating in stealth mode until premiering the technology to advertising, TV and other media professionals at the annual Monaco gathering. “We believe the spatial operating environment is how we will all work in the future,” Mary Ann de Lares Norris, general manager of Oblong Europe, told those present. This is one time that such a bold claim seemed plausible.

Imagine the capabilities of a Newsreader program that would allow drag and drop functions to headers and articles. What this kind of technology can represent could possibly change the way that Usenet and Newsgroups are accessed.


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