They’re reel(real), I tell ya!

Hector
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I was just a kid when Die Hard first came out in 1988, and like any impressionable young mind, thought that it was cool when Bruce Willis interacted with the touchscreen in the lobby of the soon-to-be-overrun-by-terrorists Nakatomi Plaza. Today, it’s an innovation that we take for granted because it’s everywhere – ATMs, ticketing machines, even our phones.

We let out a collective gasp when we first saw Tom Cruise and the gesture-controlled supercomputer in Minority Report. We see a somewhat dumbed-down version of it in episodes of CSI: Miami, where the entire table surface or a glass pane serves as a computing canvas.

Is this the future or just a figment of someone’s imagination? Remember it was not too long ago in the 1950s when people thought that we’d have flying cars in the 21st century. But in truth, we’re closer to reel world technologies than we think.

It’s time to draw some parallels. The ASUS Seamless Experience concept, shown last June at Computex 2009, is one example. The Seamless Experience makes it possible to access any file from a portable disk drive just by putting the device on the desk, in effect “simplifying the way users utilize their PCs, communicate and share data with one another.” An interactive desk if you will.

A more recent example would be the ASUS Waveface concept showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show. The Waveface Casa, a TV/home computer, takes a page out of Minority Report and is gesture-controlled. So it seems like the prospect of Tom Cruise’s super cool computer isn’t that far fetched, given that Microsoft’s soon-to-be-released Project Natal concept is already doing it for the Xbox 360, our personal computers shouldn’t be that far behind. 

What interests me is the Waveface Ultra – a flexible OLED display made out to be a wearable computer/mobile phone.

I bet it wouldn’t be too hard to fashion one of these OLEDs into a pair of Oakley frames. It can be a personal heads-up display (HUD) – displaying real time information like flight departure times or GPS maps.

I’d like to see it in the sporting arena, the Wayne Rooneys of tomorrow could be sporting HUD visors, telling them the distance to goal, or the position of team mates. Blind passes anyone? Hmm…I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that somewhere before.

Whether it’s born out of ingenuity or fantasy, there’s one thing we can be sure of: whatever Hollywood thinks up next, it’s bound to be a concept in someone’s R&D lab right now.

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