john-underkoffler-3d-futureThere is a mess of media with multi-touch this amd multi-touch that, but the single person that inspiring much of it is none other than futurist, John Underkoffler. You may not have seen him, but you would recognize his ideas for human-computer interfaces that have appeared in IronMan as well as Minority Report, Hulk and Aeon Flux.

He is now the chief scientist and part of the team working on the g-speak ‘spatial operating environment’ from oblong industries. Here’s the details and video of how you may be working in the future.

G-speak is…
a SOE… a ‘Spatial Operating Environment’. You’ll notice it’s similarities to a movie that has almost become cliché to mention in the field of multi-touch and visualization.

The SOE’s combination of gestural i/o, recombinant networking, and real-world pixels offers the first major step in computer interface since 1984.

It can be licensed and embedded. It’s networkable. It uses real-world object manipulation. It’s already being used in some companies. You can contact them here.

It’s not so far off
A lot of people don’t see this as practice to work with the day-to-day documents or 3D data. I think this is an intermediary step that may or may not be adopted by some in design and engineering. The sheer culture shock of changing how one works with data will be enough for some to quit their change or change occupations.

I’ve said it before though, not only will the next generation of designers and engineers be familiar with this technology via movies, video games, mobile phones and other devices, they will expect it. I just can’t wait till they add ‘adaptive’ to the beginning of environment. You can see more on my opinion of where the future of interface design and working in 3D CAD are going in the October Issue of Develop3D.

The G-speak video
Here John Underkoffler and other team members demonstrate the interface. Notice how fast the output renders and the type of gestures used to manipulate 3D objects. (Granted a glove is used with this, which may disappoint some. The technology is there, however, to use infrared devices. It’s only a matter of time before the cloves come off.)

g-speak overview 1828121108 from john underkoffler on Vimeo.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.