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What technology did you expect would be available now that isn't? Answered

What technology did you expect would be available now that isn't?

This is another question from the FM:Tech Battle Royale moderated by Ask a Ninja. Help me answer. Disclosure: The FM site is sponsored by Toshiba who is also an advertiser on Instructables.


The year 2000 came... But my flying car didn't. And I was sad.

  • Adaptive Cruise control -- but luckily, it's coming soon (it's currently in "luxury car" status)
  • I'm also waiting for the mouse to become obsolete, but replaced with another "silent" input device. I say this because a senior design option for me is a glove similar to what you may have seen in the movie "Minority Report"
  • Automatic Manual transmission - it's here, just no mass produced quite yet.

What would the advantages over a automatic manual transmission be over a Automatic transmission.

No slip during acceleration. Automatic transmission (for the most part) are viscously coupled in their Torque Converter. This part allows you to come to a stop, in gear, and not stall. At the same time, it allows the transmission to slip relative to the engine output. Compared to a manual transmission, the only slip you have is a little bit when launching from a dead stop. During acceleration, the transmission is locked (clutch disk to flywheel) to the engine. On top of everything, a hydraulically controlled gear system is much more complex than a linkage :p Sure, the complexity will increase to allow automatic shifting, but something tells me it won't be as complex as a modern day automatic transmission valve body :p

Some of the original VW bugs had a manual "shift" that had an "automatic clutch" (the switch was under the manual shift lever, and just touching it engaged it....no more resting your hand on the gear shift knob LOL). But I guess this is not what you mean ;-)

. I had a friend in HS that had a VW with the auto clutch. We used to mess with him by surreptitiously moving the shift lever with a knee when he wasn't expecting it. Not something to do under hard acceleration. :)

For sure :-) I had learned on a normal "standard" shift, and so I tended to rest my hand on the gearshift knob. In those "autos" it didn't take much to engage the switch and disengage the clutch. I never got totally at ease with them either. Thankfully I never owned one....

My dad taught me on a standard so when i drove my moms car an automatic i kept resting my hand on the emergency brake, it scared the crap out of her and thought I was going to do something crazy.

I drove a few of the auto-manuals & they would engage the clutch every time you put you hand on the shift knob: not good for the ole clutch, for sure. Lots of vereeeeeeeeeeeem dee dee dee while highway driving =*LOL*=|

That's pretty cool.... As it is a senior design option, and they want novel solutions - I'm curious of what they'll come up with :p

I've made a incredibly simplified thing in under 10 lines of python, it basically takes a webcam image, blurs it (to eliminate defects), then just finds the brightest pixel, and moves the pointer to that x/y set on the screen. It works... okay, its just to see if it could be done. I used an IR mask and a remote control (it flickered on and off too fast for the camera, so it just looks solid)

If you've got a couple thousand bucks to spare, you could make the glove thing. Buy a wacom cintiq, and adapt the stylus onto a glove.

The glove thing? I'm assuming you mean the minority report thing? I think the best way to emulate that would be to wear a glove with various color's on the tips, then a webcam to capture it. I've seen similar things done with a tactile something-or-other.

What would be wrong with the stylus (or whatever the plural of stylus is)? Another option we already have is a large white board, with a projector hooked to the computer projecting onto the white board. The board is also hooked to the computer, and is sensitive to a stylus' touch.

Whats wrong with my idea? Its independent of the display, and its cheaper.

The pricetag. You can get a great webcam for this for $30, and get a $10 sheet of acrylic to use as a screen. I don't know how much those whiteboards are, but they're more than $40.

and cover the screen with the acrylic? That would produce a lot of glare.

Wait, what? I'm assuming that you'd project an image. To create the image, I'd use TurkeyTek's method, paper behind acrylic.

No, you project from behind. Thats why you use paper -- it can let the light through. The Acrylic is clear, and is just there for stability.

You can use a simple program to reverse the images no problem, The camera could be put on top of the projector. Alignment could be easily solved by projecting a grid and you touching a few points, a shadow would be created which the web cam could pick up and compare to the image being projected.

Yeah, most projectors have that feature built in. Wait, what? its like this: <|`.......3 < is the projector, projection onto the | screen. The camera (`) is mounted uptop, looking at your multicolored glove, 3.

You know what I just realized? Our ideas were pretty much exactly the same..mine's probably just a bit more accurate...and costly

Okay, heres the Pros/cons: Me: Pros: >No touching -- the main difference between the MR interface and Multitouch tables, hardware wise >Multiple, separate inputs. >Cheap >Scalable >If you didn't mind size, you could use the monitor you're using right now! It'd just be... small... Cons: >Must operate in a "blank" room, or at least a bland one, in order for the color sensing to work correctly. >Questionable accuracy (We can't put a number, until we try) You: Pros: >Accurate >Could work anywhere Cons: >More expensive >Unscalable Feel free to add more. For the record, your idea is basically a large Wacom multi touch display... Mines a Multi-point non-contact interactive display.

Hmm! Looks like theres already the 1-point alternative!

I doubt theres a multi-point already made and set up, just because nothing supports multitouch yet!
(Except linux & MPX)

For the record, (though we both know) neither of those links provide an easy to use package. How exactly isn't my idea scalable? Your's takes up way more space, and is more fragile. It would be easy to block the view of the camera, as well.

By "scalable", I mean you can make it bigger. I chose a projector because this would be stupid on a 7" screen :P Yours can't go 500" easily, while mine could. However, I'm planning on playing with it with my normal computer monitor after I finish the create instructable, to see if I can do anything beyond interesting.

cintiq is 24"...the white board is a few feet. Most people use 6x9 wacom tablets.

Yeah, exactly. A 24" will do, but using a glove on a 6x9 could get... difficult :P But you can't go any bigger than 24", thats your cap.

Only your index finger would have the stylus. because that's what people instinctively use when manipulating something like that...they would put their finger on whatever, and drag, making a 6x9 be fine. ..the white board that I mentioned is bigger, and to be honest, anything bigger than a white board would be a pain to walk from end to end.

But, I thought the point of using a glove was to have multiple points? And thats why you needed to use the cintiq, because it could handle that?

But, you need multi-touch in order to get a Minority Report interface, or at least multiple input. Otherwise its just a large touchscreen.

Non-contact is actually closer to Minority Report, but I *guess* you could touch the screen, its just not as cool.

No, they didn't. Thats why he wore those glove things, I guess But he didn't touch the screen.

Yes i just jumped into your conversation, this is what i was thinking same key as yours <'......|'....3 If you use the webcam next to the projector it could have a better view and see the shadows much better, the camera ontop of the screen could view the fingers as they touch the screen.

But... you don't *touch* the screen... theres no shadowing...

Okay, if you only positioned the web cam directly over head ti would be difficult for the web cam to find the postion of your finger.

yours with a "" as your finger, notice how there isn't that much board for it to view


Mine has two views a back one and a direct over like yours. The back one will use the shadow your finger produces from making contact with the acrylic, since it has a larger view it will be much more accuret. I previousy failed to mention that there would need be be a light facing the part your viewing so the back webcam would register a shadow. The webcam directly over head would be used to register color and would help with registering 2 or more fingers touching.
| . | /__\
|| direct overhead

what the hell happend to my post let me redo the pictures It keeps removing some characters, i'll just post a picture Need to scan

I want to yell :P

You never actually touch the screen, at all! You don't get close to it!

Maybe only for 4 fingers or something, the thumb and index. Besides demos, no one uses those other 6, its to awkward.

This is what I mean. See how yours doesn't have that large of a viewing area and its distorted because of the angle of the camera. Mine has a camera next to the projector, thus leting it view a shadow your finger makes when it comes close to the screen. Since its at a better angle, it views a much larger screen giving it a better resolution and better accuracy 10 fold. Then since it has a camera like yours positioned over head it can view colors and can assist in tracking more then one finger with its color. Please ignore my crappy handwriting, the lines on the screen are there only to help with area and the diagonal ones are for the projector and webcam viewing.