Monday, August 30, 2010

MIT Clown Gloves and the Future of Gesture Based Computing

When studying the world of new gesture based computing, the technology I found to be most interesting was MIT’s “Clown Gloves”. The gloves are designed with a unique, colorful pattern that computers are able to use in order to detect user’s hand motions. The technology has proved to be extremely useful for engineering students, for they are able to use this tool to examine parts of equipment by taking them apart and putting them back together. Gesture based computing is allowing us to converge many technologies and use them as one, making our lives much easier.

One would think that an inexpensive pair of latex gloves with a colored design on them would be a bit ridiculous. These particular gloves however have proved themselves to be very useful in many ways. Not only could the gloves aid engineers and engineering students, but the gloves could also be useful for doctors, scientists, and your everyday housewife. Doctors could definitely find the “Clown Gloves” useful when looking for a cure for a disease. The physicians could literally take examine the viruses more thoroughly with the help of the gloves. Scientists could use these gloves when researching a new species of animal or an undiscovered plant species. A housewife could use the MIT gloves when testing a new cleaning product or when wandering if a new soap would harm her family. The possibilities of these gloves are endless.

Being able to experience new things hands on is something everyone could use to his or her advantage. I feel as if the MIT “Clown Gloves” would affect the way we common people live by allowing us to get a total idea of something before investing in the product. This would affect our culture because consumers would be more cautious when buying a product instead of just buying something that appears to be useful. In our society today, people are not able to thoroughly examine a product before purchasing, therefore money is wasted. I believe these gloves would affect our government by allowing government authorities to create more sophisticated forms of technology to aid our society on the computer. Once again, instead of just seeing a form of technology on the outside, government officials would be able to create and personalize the product. In every scenario the gloves prove themselves helpful.

When examining the up and coming world of gesture based computing, the future seems to be very interactive. If I could predict what the future of technology holds, I would venture to say that our society will no longer need half of the items currently used in everyday life. Convergence is allowing many products to come together into one. For example, the Apple iPad is converting an iPod, an Amazon Kindle, a laptop style desktop, and a computer’s abilities and creating these items into one technology that is conveniently able to fit into one’s pocket or purse. Another example of the gesture based Computing age is the X-Box Kinect system. The Kinect system not only combines the usual X-Box gaming system, but also combines a video chat system, Internet, and a sophisticated gesture based computing abilities that allow user’s to control the game by simple movements. This new technology eliminates the annoyance of old school gaming controllers, the use of laptops, as well as the use of video chat systems such as Skype. The future of home automation systems is another new technology that proves my prediction that our new world will be very interactive. Home automation systems will allow a user to control everything in his or her house by using a simple command, such as a clap of the hands or speaking one word by mouth. Home automation systems take away the every-day chore of remembering to turn off electrical appliances. This technology also proves itself to be useful to our environment by enabling a user to save thousands of dollars in electrical bills. Among the many other new interactive technologies that will make our world much more interactive is the ability to test products using augmented reality technology. Users are able to take a paper cutout of a product and by using web cams, our society will be able to examine every aspect of a product before purchasing. This particular technology, eliminates the trouble of going to a store and weighing the options between two products, by allowing one to see the full idea of the product he or she is most interested.

By using all of the new and improved gesture based technologies, our world will be a much more interactive place where everyone is welcome.

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