The DisplAir: That awesome computer from Minority report, only real

Ever since Tom Cruise fired up his elaborate computer set-up to target pre-emptive crimes, we've always been a little bit fascinated with the opportunity of the gesture based control.  Removing the need for a display and allowing the user to manipulate 3D images in midair.  Turns out Russia has a working prototype called the DisplAir.

This is one hell of a technological development, taking into account it was created in a dorm room.  How is it done?  The technology uses a projector, and an infared camera paired with a constant stream of cold fog to project the 3D images and capture the user's hand movements and interactions via heat signatures.  Interactions are basic at the moment; but do incorporate much of what's in Minority Report.  A user can “press” items to select them, swipe things to the side, and even use two hands and fingers to make objects larger or smaller, the 3D equivalent of multi-touch.

Alongside this, other rough edges include the distorting, almost "finging" effect on the projections created via the fog, and the lag time is at 0.2 seconds, presenting a slight longer time of reaction than the 0.1 standard created by Kinect.

Interested?  The DisplAir can detect 1,500 points of contact, with an accuracy of up to 1cm, which depends on the screen size from 40 to 140 inches.  So how much will it set you back?  Between $4,000 and $30,000 when mass-produced.  So, totally affordable to the likes of us.  Check out the video demo below: