If you want a glimpse of how we may all interact with machines someday, visit the nondescript offices of Immersive Labs in Grand Rapids to watch Jason Sosa enter computer commands with his hands like a conductor leading a symphony.
Standing in front of a screen the size of a large coffee table, Sosa uses both hands at the same time to create cascading waterfalls of light as the computer system tracks his every motion with infrared light and detectors. He traces two circles on the screen, then with the flick of his finger knocks one into another like billard balls careening on a pool table. He outlines and drags items around with his hands as a child would play with fingerpaints.
This is Multi-Touch technology, Sosa says. This is the future.
With Limited Perception
“I think we are currently limited by our perception of how a computer operates,” says Sosa, founder of Immersive Labs, which he recently moved to Grand Rapids from the Lakeshore Business Garden in Zeeland to be closer to prospective customers.
To watch Sosa operate his system is to invite a complete redefinition of how we will use computers a few years from now. Projected onto a big screen that senses his hand’s motions, Sosa’s system responds when he uses his hand to grasp an item and drag it into a different location. Using infrared light, cameras embedded in the screen recognize touches and swiping motions, then tell items on the screen how to respond to the user’s commands.