In the minds of many technologists, the most memorable part of Stephen Spielberg’s Minority Report– an adaptation of a Philip K Dick story – was the 3D, gesture-based computer interface that Tom Cruise’s character uses to navigate information.
For Scandinavian ERP firm IFS, the idea of manipulating 3D-projected data with your hands has obvious applications. “Having an interface that enables you to manipulate objects in three dimensions has practical implications when looking at product design,” says Dan Matthews, chief technology officer at IFS.
Matthews tasked his research and development team at IFS to come up with a 3D, gesture-controlled system that they could show off to clients. The resulting prototype was one of the highlights of its 2012 user event in Sweden.
IFS does not expect the interface itself to make its way into production any time soon. “It’s going to be a few years before you see it on the shop floor,” says Matthews. “Not many business users have a five-metre 3D screen in the office.”
But in the course of the project, IFS developed a new way of visualising data. products,” says Matthews. “It is rendered on a two-dimensional screen and navigated with touch or mouse rather than the 3D/gesture interface.”