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A Very, Very Brief History Of Gestural Interfaces

By Published on . 4

1977: ACCUTOUCH

The first true touch screen device in the form of a curved glass touchscreen sensor.

1983: HEWLETT-PACKARD 150

The first personal computer featuring a touch-sensitive screen allows users to position the cursor and select on-screen buttons.


1986: THE CLAPPER



A clap controls analog objects in the room. This is one of the first consumer devices sold with an auditory sensor.


1994: THE IBM SIMON PERSONAL COMMUNICATOR

The first attempt at a commercially viable smartphone, featuring a touch screen, mobile phone, a pager, PDA and fax machine.


1995: PINCH BY FAKESPACE

A hand gesture interface system based on a pair of cloth gloves containing electrical sensors in each fingertip that allows developers and users of immersive visualization applications to easily and effectively interact with virtual environments.


2001: THE ESSENTIAL REALITY P5 GLOVE BY LIONHEAD STUDIOS

Black & White is a game controlled by a special glove that can translate physical gestures into movement on the screen. This is likely the first commercial controller for gestural interfaces.


2002: AUTOMOTIVE GESTURE INTERFACE

A gestural interface is developed and tested at Carnegie Mellon University on a specially outfitted Pontiac minivan.


2002: MINORITY REPORT

Futurist John Underkoffler's conceptual model for an intuitive gestural interface is incorporated by Stephen Spielberg into the film Minority Report. Underkoffler proceeds to develop the technology into a real world product.


2004: THE IPATENT

Apple receives a patent for an Apple touch device using gestural interface.


2005: Wii:

Nintendo unveils a new video game console that accommodates both traditional buttons and physical gestures.


2006:



Jeff Han reveals a cheap, scalable, multi-touch and pressure-sensitive computer screen interface.


2007: THE IPHONE

Apple announces the iPhone.


2007: MICROSOFT SURFACE

Microsoft announces a multi-touch product that combines software and hardware to offer image manipulation through hand gestures and physical objects.


2008: REACTRIX

Reactrix gesture-based interface allows users to interact with interfaces using the movement of their limbs.


2008/9: OPEN FRAMEWORKS

New programming platforms such as Open Frameworks create simple tools for developing highly interactive interfaces that can be easily and intuitively triggered and manipulated.

A fun example of an Open Frameworks application is Sniff, an interactive storefront window display of an animated dog that follows passers-by, discerns their behavior and engaging them in play.

Curious to know what happens next....

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