View Full Version : NYTimes: Holographic Keypads Float Into View

08 August 2003, 03:59 AM
" DECADE ago, R. Douglas McPheters wrote a novel. "It was a thriller about a Manhattan loan shark operating in what's left of the Soviet Union," Mr. McPheters, a former banking and securities lawyer, recalled. He never did publish the book, but he became fixated on one of his fictitious inventions: a holographic keypad that floats in midair.

From fiction to fact, the keypad has become the basis for his start-up company, HoloTouch ( In July the company licensed his patented technology to InfoPerks, which is planning to use it to create "touchless" information kiosks that would be placed on sidewalks in New York City and nearby Westchester County. "

>>link<< (

08 August 2003, 04:31 AM
this is the stuff i like to read about...thus my user name

08 August 2003, 05:18 AM
I'll believe it when I see more than a couple of badly photoshopped images. How does it work?

08 August 2003, 05:29 AM
MAGIC!!! :surprised

08 August 2003, 06:15 AM
It looks like a load of crap to me :D

Heres hoping though :rolleyes:

08 August 2003, 12:04 PM
yeah, they forgot to mention.. you gotta be weraing these..

08 August 2003, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by flipnap
yeah, they forgot to mention.. you gotta be weraing these..

yeah :) heh. but we all know that those things will get much smaller. 10 years ago cell phones were like the average size of a boom box :) now we got cell phones that are impossible to locate when you misplace em :)

Gentle Fury
08 August 2003, 01:24 PM
actually i remember reading about 3 years ago of a company that was looking for help in developing mid-air hologram projection.

The control part is nothing's the projection that is's about time though ;)

can't wait to have a 19" pda ;)

08 August 2003, 02:45 PM
Like Gentle Fury stated the ability to detect the finger/keypress is nothing new and actually very simple to do. But it requires detectors in at least the X/Y axis meaning for the operating room their has to be a region that would not be disturbed on the sides, and top/bottom of the patient which is also within reach of the doctor. That is unless they figured out how to measure distance RELIABLY with IR LED detectors which I don't believe anybody has yet. No the real trick is the projection. Even if you could detect intersection with the keyboard by scanning in only one dimension it still requires 2 dimensions to project and thats not the big problem. What is the image being projected onto? Thin air? Umm theres nothing there for the image to reflect off of. I have actually seen this done but it was project on a very controlled thin layer of fog but thats a far cry from what they were showing in that news release. If they have a way to project something onto nothing I can't wait to see how they do it. Better yet I can't wait to have one of my own especially if it can be sized up. Imagine having a 60" NTSC monitor hanging in the air in front of you as you are working. No more secondary and tertiary monitors, no more nose touching, eye squinting scanning for that trouble spot. Man I would love this system to be true but alas I fear ain't no way today.

08 August 2003, 06:50 PM
Actually all you would need would be captors at the end of your fingers, which would tell how far and where each of your fingers are located through a signal sent to a captor in your special glasses. So it is all very simple, all you need is to have the internet connected (like cellphones) to your glasses.

Everytime you type on your keyboard, the captors on your fingers tell which keys you pressed thanks to the signal that is sent to your glasses as mentioned above, and once the signal is received the computer in your glasses does exactly what the avarage computer does, it sends the signal back to the internet, then receives the new data, transmit it back to the glasses.

As for clicking on links on the websites, the distance of your fingers becomes irrelevant. Just do a quick "tap tap" with you raised index and *click*.

Cool uh?;)

Oh and of course in the future we have implants in our fingers and eyes, so we don't have to wear actual glasses, and therefore the data can be seen by everyone without being projected at all:) Of course we would not project the internet as we walk around, but a device could project an image like in Star Wars. Everyone would see the person, but that person would not be seen by the people without the eye-implants of course, since the image is projected on the screen implanted in your eyes through the device connected to the internet, which would probably be implanted as well.

But I hate those crazy implants, they give cancer and such:p

08 August 2003, 09:51 PM
Aurora wrote "That is unless they figured out how to measure distance RELIABLY with IR LED detectors which I don't believe anybody has yet"...

Check out the demo and technology at Essential reality. I bet the led tracking system they use for their data glove could be configured to get a read on the X/Y position of a finger. Speaking of that data glove, wish some graphics package would make use of it.........

08 August 2003, 10:30 PM
raymo: thats actually pretty lame compared to some of the stuff they have out there. that has no feedback and is fairly cheap plastic.

I've seen gloves that attach to a pivoting arm and provide feedback for each joint on your finger, but i'm having trouble finding them again, so you'll just have to settle for THIS (

That plus Zbrush:drool: That would be tha day!

Oh, and then there THIS (

08 August 2003, 12:12 PM
hmm... phisical modelling wiht your very own hands... man, i'd love that ;) More of a Personal Touch :)


Gentle Fury
08 August 2003, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by Tyrinid
hmm... phisical modelling wiht your very own hands... man, i'd love that ;) More of a Personal Touch :)


hmmmm, that would pose a question then........if/when we do eventually get to the point where modelling in a computer is the same as modelling with clay.........will CG finally be considered an art form among the masses or will we still be plagued with the ignorant statement of......the computer does all the work.

Actually come to think of it, most good cg artists use tablets to draw and yet its still thought that the comp does all the work even though it takes the SAME physical movements and gestures as using paper.

08 August 2003, 03:28 PM
The point of problem with this is that they want to make this somethinbg useable in an operating room type environment. I just don't think that this type of glove would fly and from what I could gather from the patent they have it is a gloveless product but I could be wrong. Unfortuneatly I could not get any of the schematic images to come up from the patent. Maybe I'll try it again today.

09 September 2003, 09:08 PM
Originally posted by Tyrinid hmm... physical modelling wiht your very own hands... man, i'd love that

It exists: Check the gallery...

09 September 2003, 09:17 PM
Cyberdigitus you just put the fear of god to a lot of GC modelers with that link. That technology looks awesome, but it will require a TON of traditional art skills.


09 September 2003, 09:30 PM
i used something like that back at siggy 2001. its neato and used metaballs. umm. wasnt the easiest to get a hang of. but definitely neato stuff. my main problem was the navigation if i remember correctly. but yeah. id love to have it at home :D

CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2006, 08:00 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.