Future gestural interfaces

One fascinating topic that has been coming up recently in our lab’s research meetings is the near future of gestural interfaces. That’s because a radical change is coming within the next few years.

Sometime in the next five years or so we will reach a point technologically where you will just be able to reach out a finger and draw something in the air. You and the other people in the room will be able to see a glowing 3D trace of your drawing, floating in the air.

What happens next is the interesting part. That drawing will be able to change into various things as you speak and gesture. With just a few spoken sentences and movements of your hands you will be able to create cities, creatures, thought experiments, entire worlds.

A new and powerful way of expressing ourselves to each other will begin to emerge as a fundamental part of the human experience. Children will take all of this for granted, while we grownups struggle to play catch-up.

But here’s the odd thing: Even though this new power of communication will change everything, we have no way of actually knowing what it will really be like.

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