Displair aims to make science fiction, science fact with Minority Report style gesture controls


It’s been a little over a year now since Microsoft launched the Kinect (originally known by the code name Project Natal) to a great deal of success. Microsoft has gone on to sell over 10 million units of the Kinect sensor, earning the crown of “fastest selling consumer electronics device” in the process. With the Kinect being so popular and successful, it is little wonder that the device has spurred developers around the world to find innovative and new ways to harness similar technology with either the aid of Microsoft’s device or by taking inspiration from it.

In fact, ever since Microsoft released its non-commercial Kinect software development kit (SDK) in February of 2011 (and to be truthful, before that as well) the development community has been abuzz with numerous and creative ways to modify the Kinect to perform a host of new and exciting applications.

Now Russian company Displair is also touting its own award-winning technology that projects images into thin air, a la Tom Cruise in Minority Report, the key difference being that while the technology from the film isn’t real, the prototype and software developed by Desplair is.

How does it work, though? Essentially, the company uses a stream of cold fog to project images and an infrared camera to capture gestures. Similar to the Kinect, Displair captures your body movements only with much more precision and more intricate levels of movement, especially in regards to hand gestures —  something Microsoft’s Kinect has trouble with at times.

Amazingly, the technology developed by Displair was done so by a young student in a dorm, which may or may not have earned the talented learner some extra credit.

Of course Displair is still very much a prototype and in its development stages, which sadly translates to this technology not being available or ready for mass production quite yet. Unfortunately, costs for the innovative gesture technology still ranges between $4,000 and $30,000.

It seems like for now we may just have to stick with our Kinects, but truth be told it’s always exciting to see sci-fi-like technology coming closer to fruition.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.

Microsoft to target Chromebooks with new Windows Lite OS, report says

With Chromebooks becoming ever more popular, Microsoft is reportedly once again looking to target Google's popular Chrome OS with a new lightweight version of Windows dubbed "Lite OS."
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Emerging Tech

New experiment casts doubt on claims to have identified dark matter

A South Korean experiment called COSINE-100 has attempted to replicate the claims of dark matter observed by the Italian DAMA/LIBRA experiment, but has failed to replicate the observations.
Emerging Tech

White dwarf star unexpectedly emitting bright ‘supersoft’ X-rays

NASA's Chandra Observatory has discovered a white dwarf star which is emitting supersoft X-rays, calling into question the conventional wisdom about how X-rays are produced by dying stars.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Emerging Tech

Full-fledged drone delivery service set to land in remote Canadian community

Some drone delivery operations seem rather crude in their execution, but Drone Delivery Canada is building a comprehensive platform that's aiming to take drone delivery to the next level.
Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.