Spatial Interfaces

John Underkoffler is one of the great visionaries of UI design, and he’s just posted his talk about 3D spatial interfaces from the TED conference this year. This is the Minority Report UI (which he helped design) as it is being implemented — in reality — now. I had the great privilege of sitting in on his class at USC recently, where they were prototyping an editing application. My reaction at the time — it’s a slam dunk. The details don’t really matter. If we could have it, we’d use it. Take a look at his video (at TED or on YouTube) and start thinking about what computer interaction might be like sometime soon. And tell me that you don’t want it now.

Meanwhile, touch interfaces just got a lot more real for post-production with the release of iMovie for the HD iPhone. Apple has made it possible to shoot and edit on one small device and to do the whole thing via touch (and for a measly $5). It’s not for pros, of course, but it points the way.

MC5 will be released in a couple of days, and for the moment, things are pretty exciting in the world of non-linear editing. But these applications point to a different, more fundamental transformation — toward natural interfaces. Just when you thought things couldn’t get more interesting, the world shifts on its axis, and everything you know is wrong.

Explore posts in the same categories: Laptop Editing, Media and Society, User Interface

One Comment on “Spatial Interfaces”

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more Steve. The idea that we’ll be able to do early cuts, with templates, on our iPads and iPhones, with new interfaces, means that some of that technology is going to move over (at some point) into our professional NLEs. Questions of screen real estate will take on very different meanings.

    It will be great if editors can help to create those interfaces, in concert with the NLE manufacturers. Right now, I feel about three years behind. And that’s how I love it, because it means there’s so much exciting out there.

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