Jack Uldrich
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A Wave to the Future

Posted in Computer/Semiconductor


Toshiba has developed a new gesture-based interface for flat-panel displays. It is easy to see how the technology might someday be used to replace the remote control, and it is also easy to envision how the technology will make for more interactive video games. But how else might the technology take root in the workplace of the future?

I envision a couple of possibilities. For one, doctors and surgeons will be able to access medical information without needing to touch anything (and, thus, not risk picking up any germs); students will be able to access educational information in new and innovative ways (imagine spinning around a complex 3-D molecule or a strand of DNA); advertisers will engage potential customers in unique ways; architects and designers will be able to more quickly manipulate models; physical therapists will be able to design programs that patients can practice on their television; athletes will be able to hone their reflexes on custom-made programs; and, more innovatively, manufacturers should be able to use a reverse version of the technology to show customers how to repair and fix things.

As the technology gets better, it is reasonable to believe that facial recognition technology will also get better. Therefore, in the near future, your television will be able to sense when you are frustrated or confused. If your problem can’t be fixed with a simple voice command (which should be possible as a result of continued improvements in voice recognition technology), your device should be able to direct you (in a manual sense) to a successful resolution of the problem. For example, it could show which screw to loosen or which wire to remove in order to fix a problem.

If you have other ideas on how the technology might change our lives, I’d be interested in your thoughts.

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