Fellow surrogate, Jeff Johnson (@lovebugdad) and myself attended the 11:00 panel – “People as Peripherals: The Future of Gesture Interface.”
The discussion was led by an actual, trained “Futurist,” Lee Shupp – that’s really his job title. It was definitely a panel worth attending and brought to mind a lot of interesting things to think about. Overall, I’d say the purpose of this talk was Reinvention. Naturally, being a Futurist, Lee is all about change and breakthrough technologies. But one thing he stressed, which was a very cool thought, was the importance of “creating acceptable change.” Finding the sweet spot is when something’s just new enough, but not so overwhelming to intimidate people.
He went through an informative and interesting explanation of the evolution of computing. Starting with “the mouse” and ending with gesture interface. By the way, crazy to think that the mouse is 50 years old! But sadly, myself and the rest of the room agreed it probably won’t be relevant 50 years from today. With innovations in computing like “touch” and newly discovered “gesture” ways to navigate content, it’s just not going to be needed. Both touch and gesture are much more natural experiences and don’t require sitting down. Basically, they make for a more relaxed computing experience.
One of the more amazing breakthroughs he discussed was “BrainGate.” It’s a brain implant system. I know what you’re probably thinking, who on earth would want to implant something in their brain?? Well, shockingly 80,000 humans have already done just that! This specific device was designed to help those who hae lost control of their limbs, or other bodily functions. Pretty awesome.
Anyway, don’t want to ramble on too much, but will end by stressing how cool so many of the possibilities that gesture interface provide us. We can actually control iPhone apps with our brain! The world that Tom Cruise brought to life in Minority Report is closer to a reality than we may realize.