Interactive natural user interfaces

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Janis, Sean Patrick
3D user interface; Facebook API; Fog screen display; Futuristic user interface; Holography; Wiimote infrared tracking
thesis / dissertation description
For many years, science fiction entertainment has showcased holographic technology and futuristic user interfaces that have stimulated the world's imagination. Movies such as Star Wars and Minority Report portray characters interacting with free-floating 3D displays and manipulating virtual objects as though they were tangible. While these futuristic concepts are intriguing, it's difficult to locate a commercial, interactive holographic video solution in an everyday electronics store. As used in this work, it should be noted that the term holography refers to artificially created, free-floating objects whereas the traditional term refers to the recording and reconstruction of 3D image data from 2D mediums. This research addresses the need for a feasible technological solution that allows users to work with projected, interactive and touch-sensitive 3D virtual environments. This research will aim to construct an interactive holographic user interface system by consolidating existing commodity hardware and interaction algorithms. In addition, this work studies the best design practices for human-centric factors related to 3D user interfaces. The problem of 3D user interfaces has been well-researched. When portrayed in science fiction, futuristic user interfaces usually consist of a holographic display, interaction controls and feedback mechanisms. In reality, holographic displays are usually represented by volumetric or multi-parallax technology. In this work, a novel holographic display is presented which leverages a mini-projector to produce a free-floating image onto a fog-like surface. The holographic user interface system will consist of a display component: to project a free-floating image; a tracking component: to allow the user to interact with the 3D display via gestures; and a software component: which drives the complete hardware system. After examining this research, readers will be well-informed on how to build an intuitive, eye-catching holographic user interface system for various application arenas.