Tangible UI and Minority Report

In his blogpost about "unconscious gestures", at a certain point, Matt Jones has a good rant about the cultural ownership on the touch interface of the iphone. As if all the other products which use touch/gestures had been copied ("with pride"):

"That last remark made me spit with anger - and I almost posted something very intemperate as a result. The work that all the teams within Nokia had put into developing touch UI got discounted, just like that, with a half-thought-through response in a press conference. I wish that huge software engineering outfits like S60 could move fast enough to ‘copy with pride’.


Fact-of-the-matter is if you have roughly the same component pipeline, and you’re designing an interface used on-the-go by (human) fingers, you’re going to end up with a lot of the same UI principles.

But Apple executed first, and beautifully, and they win. They own it, culturally."

Why do I blog this? speaking of cultural ownership, what is even more puzzling is all the press about the prominence of "minority report" in terms of interface paradigm.

As if every single gestural/touch UI that we have today have something to do with Minority Report, as if that movie taught people that it was where innovation in that field started. So you have newspaper article about the phone/table/display that-mimics-minority-report-gestural-interface. It's really weird since the interface employed by Tom Cruise et al. are very different. There is really something here about the normative future created by a cultural artifact such as movies and tv series.

Apart from that, Matt's also complains about the fact that what is pursued is more "deliberate touch interfaces - touch-as-manipulate-objects-on-screen rather than touch-as-manipulate-objects-in-the-world for now", which is a relevant remark.