Dec 12, 2010

LM3LAB's Useful Map of Interactive Gesture-Based Technologies: Tracking fingers, bodies, faces, images, movement, motion, gestures - and more

Nicolas Loeillot, of LM3LABS, has been ahead of the natural user interaction/ interface game for many years as his company has expanded. He's done quite a bit of deep thinking about the work of his company, and has used this wisdom to create a nice concept map that describes how LM3LABS' solutions fit into the world of gesture-based control and interaction:

In my opinion, this chart would make a great template for mapping out other natural interaction applications and products!

Here is the description of the concepts outlined in the chart:

"If all of them belong to the “gesture control” world, the best segmentation is made from 4 categories:
  • Finger tracking: precise finger tracking, it can be single touch or multi-touch (this latest not always being a plus). Finger tracking also encompasses hand tracking which comes, for LM3LABS products, as a gestures.
  • Body tracking: using one’s body as a pointing device. Body tracking can be associated to “passive” interactivity (users are engaged without their decision to be) or “active” interactivity like 3D Feel where “players” use their body to interact with content.
  • Face tracking: using user face as a pointing device. It can be mono user or multiple users. Face tracking is a “passive” interactivity tool for engaging user in an interactive relationship with digital content.
  • Image Tracking: Augmented Reality (AR) lets users use images (flyers, real products, t-shirts, faces,…) to interact with digital content. AR can be markerless or marker-based. Markerless technology has advantages but marker-based AR is easier for users to understand. (Please note here that Markerless AR is made in close collaboration with AR leader Total Immersion)."  -LM3LABS
   If you are interested in this subject and want to view some good examples of off-the-desktop interfaces and interactions, take a look at the LM3LABS blog, as well as Nicolas Loeillot's Vimeo channel.  Also take a look at the sample of posts I've written about LM3LABS over the last few years - the links are at the end of this post.

I love LM3LABS' Interactive Balloon:

Interactive balloons from Nicolas Loeillot on Vimeo.

Interactive Balloons v lm3 labs v2 (SlideShare)

I first discovered LM3LABS when I was taking a VR class and researching interactive, immersive large displays in 2005 or 2006.  Back then, there wasn't much information about this sort of technology.  A lot has changed since then!

I've learned quite a bit from watching LM3LABS (and others) grow, given my passion for postWIMP interactive technology and my commitment to blogging about this subject.   Nicolas has really worked hard in this arena.  As early as 2005, LM3LABS was working with Scala to provide "smart" interactive displays, and his company's applications have been supported by computer vision technologies for many years, allowing for gesture-based, or "touch-less" interaction, as demonstrated by the Catchyoo Interactive Table.  This application caught my eye back in early 2007, when I was working on projects for large interactive displays for my HCI and Ubicomp classes, and was thinking about creating a table-top application.

My hunch is that LM3LABS has set the foundation for further growth in the future, given the lessons they've learned by taking risks with postWIMP technologies over the past few years!

Previous Blog Posts Related to LM3LABS:
Interactive Retail Book (Celebrating history of Christian Dior from 1948-2010 (video)
Ubiq Motion Sensor Display at Future Ready Singapore (video)
Interactive Virtual DJ on a Transparent Pane, by LM3LABS and Brief Ad
LM3LABS' Catchyoo Interactive Koi Pond: Release of ubiq'window 2.6 Development Kit and Reader
A Few Things from LM3LABS
LM3LABS, Nicolas Leoillot, and Multi-touch
More from LM3LABS: Ubiq'window and Reactor.cmc's touch screen shopping catalog, Audi's touch-less showroom screen, and the DNP Museum Lab.

"Founded in 2003 by a team of passionate researchers, engineers, designers, and marketers from various international backgrounds, focused on fast transformation of innovation into unique products, LM3LABS is a recognized pioneer in computer vision-based interactivity solutions. Keeping a strong customer focus, LM3LABS' team of unique people pioneers new directions, explores new concepts, new technologies and new interactions.  Engaging, playful and magic, LM3LABS' products and solutions are always scalable and reliable"

Note to readers:
Over the past couple of years there has been an explosion of postWIMP technologies and applications, and with this pace, it has been difficult for me to keep abreast of it all. There is quite a bit I miss, given my full time job and daily life!

I welcome information about postWIMP interactive technologies and applications from my readers.  Due to time constraints, not interest, I am not always able to post about a topic as soon as I'd like.  That is OK, as my intention is not to be the first blogger to spread the latest tech news.  I like to dig in deep when I can and make connections between innovative, interesting technologies and the people and ideas behind them. 

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