Interesting Technology

Wired on the technology predicted by Minority Report

Wired magazine have an interesting feature on six real gadgets that Minority Report predicted correctly.

The 2002 sci-fi thriller stars Tom Cruise as a Washington cop in a special unit called ‘Precrime’ that apprehends criminals based on foreknowledge provided by three psychics termed ‘precogs‘.

Set in 2054, it features all kinds of interesting technology, partly because in pre-production director Steven Spielberg convened a think-tank to brainstom details of what a future reality might look like.

They included: Long Now Foundation president Stewart Brand, author Douglas Coupland, Cybergold founder Nat Goldhaber, biomedical researcher Shaun Jones and virtual reality expert Jaron Lanier.

The Wired article points out that the film suggested the following developments:

  1. Gesture-based Computer Interfaces
  2. Flexible Displays
  3. 3-D Holograms
  4. Identity-Detecting Advertisement Cameras
  5. Robot Scouts
  6. Predicting Mistakes
I remember seeing the film in June 2002 (if I remember correctly Frank Skinner and Graham Linehan were also there) and the tech aspect that struck me most was the multi-touch hologram display Cruise’s character manipulates in order to view images.

Were Apple’s engineers influenced by this when the created the iPhone multi-touch interface?

This video points out that the sound on an iPhone appears to be some reference to the film.

UPDATE 14/11/08: Engadget have a video of the interface developed by one of the science advisors from the film (along with a team of other visionaries).

Dubbed g-speak, the OS combines “gestural i/o, recombinant networking, and real-world pixels,” to deliver what the creators call “the first major step in [a] computer interface since 1984.”.

g-speak overview 1828121108 from john underkoffler on Vimeo.

> Read the full article at Wired
> Minority Report at the IMDb