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MIT Students Create Minority Report-style iPad Controls

by on May 25th, 2012

Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have created a fascinating method to control input commands for an iPad.

For those who are familiar with Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, you’ll remember the famous scenes where Tom Cruise stands in front of a display and, using only his hands and gloves, manipulates the images on the screen without ever touching anything.

Well, the brains at the MIT Media Lab have basically created that experience and they call it “T(ether).”

Using motion tracking on gloves, the team is able to create and manipulate virtual items using the iPad as a view screen to see what they are manipulating. The video below shows the team using the system in a variety of scenarios. Watching what they are doing in their virtual world is absolutely fascinating.

T(ether) is a novel spatially aware display that supports intuitive interaction with volumetric data. The display acts as a window affording users a perspective view of three- dimensional data through tracking of head position and orientation. T(ether) creates a 1:1 mapping between real and virtual coordinate space allowing immersive exploration of the joint domain. Our system creates a shared workspace in which co-located or remote users can collaborate in both the real and virtual worlds. The system allows input through capacitive touch on the display and a motion-tracked glove. When placed behind the display, the user’s hand extends into the virtual world, enabling the user to interact with objects directly.

As seen in the video, gestures such as a pinch can add, remove, or alter an object. Users can also draw on the iPad and the system computes where on the screen the finger is and then relates that to the position of the iPad to create an amazing three-dimensional experience.

[via Cult of Mac]

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