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Sci-Fi Movie Interfaces: Why Transparent Screens Are Miserable to Use

Yesterday, we sat in on the excellent 'Made it So (Interface Makers in Movies)' panel at SXSW with Chris Noessel, Mike Fink, Mark Coleran and David Lewandowski, some of the designers behind the on-screen interfaces in movies ranging from '80s classics 'Blade Runner' and 'WarGames' to modern day blockbusters 'Avatar' and 'Tron: Legacy.' The panel followed a simple question and answer format, ...

To Switch on Your Cell, Show Some Skin

Lost remote control woes, begone! Japanese electronics giant NEC announced this week that it's developed a way to let users control a variety of electronics simply by touching some skin. No implants are necessary; a wristband with acceleration sensors (similar to what makes your smartphone and Wiimote so awesome) transforms the user's arm into a seven-part controller, with each area correspondi...

Evite Gets a Redesign, Nerds Still Hate It

TechCrunch is mad at Evite. The Web-based invitation generator has fallen out of style in the last several years, mainly due to a ghastly UI. But Evite has, like the party phoenix of petits fours and mylar balloons, risen from the ashes of its own burning, and redesigned its site. But Alexia Tsotsis at TechCrunch still thinks that the new look is "not attractive anyway you slice it." We took a...

In HIRO III, Researchers See Scientific Breakthrough, We See Feel-O-Vision

Often, when people talk about the future of user interaction with computers, the go-to reference is Steven Spielberg's 'Minority Report.' But those dreams of gesture-based computing find users waving their hands in the air with no tactile feedback at all, and anyone who has typed on both an iPhone and a BlackBerry can tell you a little physical feedback is always welcome. An experimental system be...

Wikipedia Unveils New 'Vector' Look, Improved Editing Features

Today, about a month after we first caught wind of it, Wikipedia unveiled a revamped look, dubbed Vector, and some improved features. According to Wikipedia, the site spent the last year beta-testing these improvements on about 635,000 users, and experienced an 83-percent retention rate. You'll first notice a redesigned globe logo. The world's biggest time waster overhauled the site navigation...

Multitoe Touchscreen Floor Taps, Jumps and Wiggles Into The Future

Touch displays are awesome and all, but it sure takes a lot of effort to put your finger to the screen. Couldn't we just do it with our feet? Well, Professor Patrick Baudisch and his research team at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany have developed a multi-touch floor display called Multitoe, utilizing the concept of frustrated total internal reflection (we had to Wikipedia that on...

Tromsø Students Make a Gorgeous, Massive 22-Megapixel Display Wall

We here in America know that everything is bigger in Texas, but the Lone Star's got nothing on Scandinavia. For example, Norway has the largest capital reserve of any country, making it the wealthiest in the world by monetary value. Some of the largest sea predators -- like the sperm whale and the basking shark -- call Norwegian waters home, while the people of Norway represent one of the largest...

Oblong's g-speak: The 'Minority Report' OS Brought to Life

If you've been waiting for that 'Minority Report'-style interface to really come to fruition, you can finally exhale. One of the science advisors from the Steven Spielberg film -- along with a team of other zany visionaries -- has created an honest-to-goodness, real-world implementation of the computer systems seen in the movie. Dubbed g-speak, the mind bending OS combines "gestural i/o, recombi...