Polar offers a peek into the future of interactive displays


One of the more interesting future tech concepts featured in the 2002 film Minority Report was a front-facing interactive display Tom Cruise manipulates with his characteristically cool bravado. While many companies have tried incorporating hand gesture technology into our everyday lives, most have fallen flat due to the simple fact that a mouse and track pad are still easier to use than waving and finger puppetry (think Google’s seldom used hand signals and arm sweeps). Although the technology still has a ways to go, a savvy collective of programmers and engineers representing several European-based tech firms have joined forces to create Polar, an impressive interactive display that offers a glimpse into the future of augmented reality screen control.

How does the Polar interactive display work?

interactive displayAt the heart of Polar is a circular 3.2 meter table. Directly above the table are four HD projectors that beam graphics, displays and images, to fill the exact dimensions of the table. Since the table does not feature a touchscreen, users rely on accompanying Leap Motion sensors to access, move and delete content. There is also an iPad controller situated on the table that users can use to fully switch content.

polar_interactive displayEach projector is focused on displaying content in one of four respective quadrants, which together offers users the ability to manipulate a variety of projected images either individually or collectively. For added interactivity and to fulfill a range of user commands and queues, the Polar UI is capable of “giving real time feedback on the fingertip position and implementing small but valuable iconography.

Polar 2.0

The first iteration of the Polar interface was featured as a centerpiece to an audience at Hellospace Brussels, a tech hub for entrepreneurs and programmers looking to collaborate and exchange ideas. Already, the makers of Polar (bump., beyond.io and Lab101) are at work on developing the next version of Polar.

About Author

Kristian strives to enlighten and entertain readers. In addition to his teaching and editorial responsibilities, he is working on a science-fiction novel that promises not to include exoskeleton suits and anemic aliens floating in mysterious vats of green-tinted goop.

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