Technology From Tom Cruise’s Minority Report Comes Back From The Future

Tom Cruise in Minority Report

BLOG UPDATE! We’ve added cutting-edge information to this blog about new technology from Minority Report making its way into everyday life. Enjoy.

Technologically speaking, our world is a sponge: It absorbs the latest innovations as soon as they overflow into the public domain. And quite frankly, we here at couldn’t be happier. Among the unbelievably cool things it does, technology allows us to keep you up to date—up to the minute—on what’s happening  here and in the world at large. And that’s just the tip of the techno-progressive iceberg!

To that end, you might recall that in January we told you about technology from Minority Report, the futuristic Cruise/Speilberg vehicle, making its way into everyday life. Well, it’s even closer now, and some cool video has emerged illustrating what Oblong Industries, the inventors, calls g-speak SOE (spatial operating environment).

This gestural interface works by hand movement and could provide the foundation for how we interact with data in the not-to-distant future.

In the video below, you can see the technology at work. A little farther down the blog there is a TED lecture video on g-speak that explains how it was created. And not to leave you hanging there, below THAT is a scene from Minority Report in which Tom uses what at the time was the prototype for the current system. So, for a look at the future, check out the videos below.

You would be forgiven for watching Minority Report in 2002 and marveling at the incredible technology and the nimble minds that concocted such things, and then relegating it all to the far-reaches of your memory. Most movies with a futuristic bent have significantly overshot the mark on how technology will alter the future. Because of that, movie tech is mostly fun for the ‘what-if’ factor, and not for waiting up at night, thinking, “I can’t wait to get one of those!”

Minority Report, however, sought a more realistic future world, and Steven Spielberg consulted technology professionals to help create gadgets that wouldn’t press the “Yeah, right!’’ button in viewers too often.

When it came to computer processing, Spielberg’s man for the job was John Underkoffler. Underkoffler proposed a computer that Cruise would control with gestures, by simply pointing and waving his hands and arms like a conductor to process data. Keyboards and touch screens certainly had no place in the year 2055. Spielberg loved the idea.

Far from producing an attractive model that would smolder on the silver screen and end up in the junk pile at the end of production, Underkoffler built an actual working model at MIT. Since that time he has refined the technology, and now, through his company Oblong, offers something very similar to what you saw in the movie. Of course it’s not quite ready for prime time – meaning the casual consumer. At half a million dollars, the system is expensive, but Underkoffler believes that with time it will not only become more affordable but it could figure in any technology with a computer chip such microwaves, TVs and car dashboards.

In this scene from Minority Report, Tom puts Underkoffler’s computer through the paces.


Minority Report Synopsis

For six year, Washington D.C. has been murder-free thanks to astounding technology which identifies killers before they commit their crimes. But when the chief of the Precrime Unit (Cruise)  is himself accused of a future murder, he has just 36 hours to discover who set him up or he’ll fall victim to the perfect system he helped create.“It’s a mind-blowing action thriller that’s such an achievement it reminds us why we go to the movies in the first place.”  ( Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.)

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  • Barbies Collectors

    I saw this movie yesterday and loved it, all good movies are excellent and Tom had expected that this would not be different! Tom kisses!