Those who enjoy the Minority Report movie will certainly recall how Tom Cruise worked with a computer without using his fingers to touch anything. Instead, the computer system interpreted the movement of his fingers and altered the interface as if he had touched it. Apple has also been thinking about this idea, and a patent granted to them shows such an interface.
The patent discusses a device that observes the user’s hands and interprets their movements to interact with the interface. This includes hand motion, fingertip movements, and pen grip detection.
The system is also designed to interpret the synchronized movements of multiple fingertips, allowing for a deeper interaction than just moving fingers around. The interface described in the patent brings to life the UI in Minority Report, where users can interact with it using only their hands.
Apple explains that “identification and classification of intuitive hand configurations and motions enables unprecedented integration of typing, resting, pointing, scrolling, 3D manipulation, and handwriting into a versatile, ergonomic computer input device.” The patent therefore provides a richly varied method of interacting with the interface using only hands.
While it’s uncertain if we’ll ever see such a system, fans of the film could be pleasantly surprised one day.