How realistic is Minority Report

You might know the movie Minority Report in which Tom Cruise has a very futuristic computer system. But how realistic is it?

We do not consider any technical limitations for the moment, this review is solely about the interaction with the system. After inspecting all of the gestures that are performed in this fragment, the ‘copy from oversized USB stick’ action is quite clear to investigate:

Move files:

  • Point to files
  • Rotate arm to lock
  • Circle to group
  • Pinch and throw
  • Stop pinching

Could you imagine learning that many steps to simply move files from one location to another? I would prefer CTRL+C and CTRL+V! Also you can notice that the majority of the actions toggle something (meaning that there is no continuous feedback visible while moving the hands). These type of actions (so called gestures) are highly discouraged (see softkinetic page in sources) because they require very strict and predetermined interactions. Another reason is that even though the procedure might be well defines, cultural or other influences result in different outcomes. Imagine in how many ways you could draw a circle in the air. The biggest problem with this fragment is that all gestures are performed after each other, and that those transfers from one gesture to another will result in unwanted triggers of other actions.

We can conclude that such a system might be realised in the future, but only for a single and a very well trained person to operate it.

Source: Softkinetic’s IISU middleware

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