"Wall Computing" has arrived

Jul 31, 2012

Ten years ago, Steven Spielberg's Minority Report gave us a glimpse into the future of computing interfaces. In the film, Tom Cruise's character interacted with a wall-sized display via hand gestures, rather than a mouse and keyboard.

In 2008, Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson predicted this sort of technology, which he calls Wall Computing, would soon make the leap into corporate conference rooms.

On this month's edition of The Digital Future, Mark tells KPLU's Dave Meyer that Wall Computing is becoming a reality, heralded in part by Microsoft's recent acquisition of Perceptive Pixel, which makes large, multi-touch computer displays. 

Perceptive Pixel first entered the public eye when CNN used its screen for "Magic Wall" coverage of the 2008 Presidential election.

What are the implications of this technology? In the July 9 edition of Strategic News Service, Mark wrote:

For those who still don't get the magic, think of this not as gesture, pinching, multi-touch, or gesture-driven, but rather as a wall computer upon which your whole management team can work simultaneously, sharing data, accessing various company databases around the world, and making realtime decisions about responses to problems.

It's also a great technology for emergency management. Mark says Wall Computing would have been ideal for coping with Japan's Fukushima nuclear crisis. In the United States, the technology could coordinate efforts to contain urban wildfires.

While it's easy to become enthralled with the gee-whiz aspects of new gadgets, Mark says the real power of this technology is in the people who use it.

Wall Computing will allow people to work together better than they did before.

Mark and Dave previously talked about Wall Computing in 2010. Click on the link and you'll find that discussion, along with a video demonstration of g-speak, a Minority Report-style gesture-based computer interface.