“Real Life Minority Report: Interview with CEO of 5 Examples, Bjorn Jawerth” – Andre Bourque – http://technorati.com/technology/gadgets/article/real-life-minority-report-technology-interview/
June 21, 2012
Remember how in awe most of us were to see Tom Cruise waving his hands in thin air to orchestrate messages and images in the movie Minority Report? While some were excited merely to see Tom Cruise, others of us were engaged by the idea of next generation communication advancing to the point of being screenless. Presenting at this week’s Social Loco Conference in San Francisco, one company showed us how similar new technology is taking form.
In an exclusive interview with Technorati, CEO of the company 5 Examples, Dr. Bjorn Jawerth, shared with me his products and inspiration. 5 examples, inc., is a supplier of innovative solutions for the mobile market and the parent company of the TIO product family.TIO is ten in Swedish. Because ten fingers are often used when interacting with different devices, ten becomes a natural basis for the construction of these user interfaces.
TIO’s products are built on an intelligent platform that both developers and end-users may draw on to create customized keyboards and user interfaces. Using a proprietary prediction engine called CSP (pronounced “cusp”) the company’s tools use advanced pattern matching, natural language processing, and machine learning to deliver next generation device interfaces. This week the company announced TIO Flix and TIO Squiggle. Both products provide a gesture-based interface for text and data entry, enabling a new way to interact with today’s spectrum of devices.
TIO Flix is a simple gesture-based interface to the TIO text-entry keyboards. It allows users to utilize “flicks” or quick and short finger movements for basic interactions. For example, to erase a word to the left of the cursor, the “left flick” or a quick movement to the left is used.
TIO Squiggle provides a new way to interact with devices by registering when the user’s finger crosses a line segment or curve. With Squiggle, instead of relying on key presses, the user traces a curve that crosses a line in designated places. Squiggle supports entry directly on touch screens, such as tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches; or entry on separate screens, like a TV, car console, and social wall, using a touch pad or a game console, or in the Minority Report example, even in mid-air.
This is how it works. Start with a full keyboard, draw a horizontal line through the keyboard, and then register when the user’s finger crosses this line for the relevant column of keys as the figure below illustrates. The “squiggle” for the word “hi” looks like this:
The full product overview:
The significance of all this is in the possibilities it allows for communication. Dr. Jawerth explains, “Everything is getting smaller in technology. Imagine needing to write with a screen the size of a wristwatch.” This was precisely his inspiration—removing the barriers to communication.
Dr. Jawerth continues by identifying all sorts of applications and industries where this kind of invention can be valuable. In the medical industry, the Squiggle tool can become precisely versed on medical terms and vernacular and allow for quicker, and more limitless note taking. For military personnel, communication can be delivered quietly, in the field, by troops fitted with specialized wristwatches.
But perhaps the coolest application, will be in the next few years, when we’re all able to use TIO Squiggle in boardroom presentations by waving our hands in the air to movement capturing devices that capture and translate it all into words.