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Holographic Keypads Float Into View

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the insert-princess-leia-gag-here dept.

Patents 291

prostoalex writes "The New York Times tells the story of a Connecticut-based company called HoloTouch that is developing input devices that literally "float in the air". The technology will be licensed for information kiosks in New York city. Some other sample applications are available from the company's Web site. HoloTouch already managed to secure the patent on its technology."

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Disturbing developments (2, Funny)

Dan Rather (694650) | more than 10 years ago | (#6608942)

The CEO of International Bomb Corporation dropped a bombshell today, causing an explosion of controversy.

And that's .. part of our world.

Paedophile hunt police find human skull (-1)

(TK2)Dessimat0r (669581) | more than 10 years ago | (#6608951)

AMERICAN police made further grim discoveries yesterday during their

investigation into a paedophile network responsible for kidnapping


A skull and bones were dug up at the home of the network's suspected

ringleader, Rob Malda. It was feared that they were the remains of

two teenagers who disappeared from New Orleans a year ago. The bones

were unearthed after police spent six days digging at a house in

Holland, Michigan, one of six properties owned by Malda.

On a visit to the house last week, Malda told police that his

accomplice, Bernard Weinstein, had buried five bodies under a shed.

Maximillion Artuto, a police spokesman in Michigan, said that no

further statement would be made until families had been informed.

There was speculation last night that the remains are those of

shemales from the GNAA. Malda has admitted abducting them. However,

he earlier told police that he believed the two girls were still

alive and being held somewhere outside Belgium.

Two eight-year-old girls abducted by Malda have been found buried at

another of his properties. They starved to death while he was in

prison on a theft charge. Malda's wife, Kathleen Malda, has told

police that she was supposed to feed the children while her husband

was in prison, but was too frightened to enter their cell.

Another two girls were found alive by police two days after Malda's

arrest on Aug 13. Ten people, including Malda, his wife and an

American police officer, are in custody in connection with the case.

The raped corpses of two women and parts of a third body have been

discovered in a freezer at the Slashdot headquarters.

TrollKore - At the head of the game.
I hate you, I hate your country, and I hate your face.

Playing at Amazons (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6608954)

Julie and Jane were identical twins who loved each so strongly and deeply that they never left each other's company unless they had to. They were aggressive 10 year old girls who loved to run wild through the woods near to their home and play at being Amazon warriors seeking out victims to capture and torture. Each night Julie would sneak into Jane's bed so that they could fantasize about how they would hunt out grown up men, capture them then beat them with their sticks, clubs and cut them with sharp knives making them scream and cry in pain. These fantasy sessions would always end with them so sexually excited that they would end up masturbating themselves into ecstatic multiple orgasms.

Neither Julie nor Jane could have imagined that their fantasies would become a wonderful reality until one hot summers day when they ran off into the woods in their Amazon manhunt. All that Julie and Jane had on was a flimsy T-shirt, tight bikini shorts and some leather sandals. They both hand a black leather belt with a large sharp knife and a sturdy rope hanging from it. After moving quietly through the wood, Jane spotted a young man and woman sitting in a quite secluded part of the wood that they used for their Amazon camp. Looking at each other Jane and Julie smiled and laughed eagerly as they agreed to sneak up on the intruders into their camp and capture them, torture and kill them both.

Slowly and quietly, they crept up on the man and woman in their camp, positioned themselves close to them, and listened. Then by accident Jane broke a branch lying next to her as she became uncomfortable and changed position as she hid in the bushes listening to the man and woman sitting in her and her sisters camp. The woman stood and walked over to Jane and shouted for the man to join her and see what she had found. He walked over and the laughed at Jane as they asked what she was doing hiding alone in the woods. Julie angrily burst out of her hiding spot making the man and woman jump with surprise and told them that they were dangerous Amazons who would capture torture and kill them both if they were not careful.

The man told the girls that they were married and he was called John and his wife was called Sophie. Jane told the couple their names and that they really were Amazons and that they would kill them both if they did not leave their camp. John just smiled and laughed and said, "No I don't think your real Amazons because real Amazons were lesbians and they would not kill both of us. They would capture us both, torture and maybe kill me. They would take my wife as their lover and inflict the torture worse than death itself on me."

Jane and Julie just stood and stared at John as they imaged capturing him beating and torturing him then inflicting the torture worse than death on him. As they imagined this, they felt themselves becoming increasingly sexual excited finding it difficult to control their breathing. Their faces started to flush red, their breathing became shallower and quicker and they panted with sexual lust. "What is the torture worse then death for a man?" gasped Julie so sexually excited that her panting breath made her voice a quavering and quivering sexy whisper. A strange smile broke across both John and Sophie's face as he said "If you were real Amazon's you would capture us both, then make Sophie watch as you beat me, tortured me then castrated me." "What does castrate you mean?" interrupted Jane with an eager excited voice. "Castrate means you cut off his cock and balls and the one who cuts them off and gives them to me is the one that takes me as her lover." Panted Sophie with growing excitement.

"So if we were real Amazons we would sneak up on you, capture, torture John and castrate him?" asked Jane. Both John and Sophie smiled eagerly and nodded. Jane and Julie laughed then looked at John and imagined the fun they could have doing what real Amazons would do to men. Then they looked at Sophie and looked at her long flowing thick brown hair, her bright eager excited hazel eyes, her luscious lips, long neck, slim body, firm medium sized breasts, slim waist, wide firm hips and long strong thighs and legs. As both of the girls looked at Sophie, they realised that they wanted to share her body with each other and make love to her. "So are you real Amazons then?" said John interrupting their lusting over Sophie's sexy adult body.

Jane angrily turned her head towards John and snarled, "Yes we are!" at him. "Well then get on with it capture us." Said John. Both he and Sophie begged them to sneak up them, capture them both, and make Sophie watch whilst they torture and castrate John. "Don't forget to really torture John's cock and balls for me, make him suffer before you cut them off and I will be the lover to who ever gives his cock and balls to me." Gasped Sophie excitedly. "Are you sure you want us to do it?" Julie and Jane asked as though in one voice. "Yes, we do, now come on girls, hurry up." Julie and Jane felt elated as they ran off into the bushes and planned their plan of attack on John and Sophie.

John and Sophie sat down in the centre of the camp and eagerly waited the attack. Julie and Jane then made themselves some sharp, long and heavy spears and then took of their T-shirts and bared their small bud like breasts to the world. They then started to creep up John and Sophie like wild cats creeping along the ground. Then with young bodies charged with sexual excitement and blood lust Julie and Jane dashed forward attacked John first striking him as hard as they could on the back of his head with their long thick and heavy spears knocking him forward on the ground. They then dived on him and tried him spread eagled on his back then dived on Sophie. She made a show of struggling to escape so Julie her hard across her face.

The reaction they got from Sophie as they gave her a few slaps and punches made them even more excited as she became more and more passive as they became rougher and violent to her. They then made her take off her clothes and kneel naked before them and kiss their feet as a sign of subjection to their Amazon power. Sophie eagerly did then promised to be theirs if they wanted her. Sophie then begged them to spare her life and take her as their lover. Julie and Jane gave into their natural lesbian feelings and played with her breasts and pussy. Then they turned and kissed each other and then turned their attention onto John.

Julie ran at John and started to cut off his clothes with her knife with the help of Jane. Then Jane took hold of John's right ball in her hand and started to squeeze it harder and harder making him scream in pain. His cries of pain spurred the girls on making them increasingly sexually aroused. Julie then started to hit John hard with her spear savouring the powerful feelings of intense pleasure it created between her legs as she caused John to experience pain between his. What Julie stopped striking Johns cock and balls with her spear Jane picked up a heavy rock and dropped it hard onto his cock making him jump in pain.

Julie then dived onto the ground between John's legs, pulled his right ball into her mouth, and started to bite through the skin just behind it making sawing motions with her teeth. After biting through his flesh, she felt herself orgasm as his right ball come off his body into her mouth. Then Julie walked over to Sophie and kissed her passionately on her lips, played with her pussy lips as she pushed John's right ball into Sophie's eager mouth. Then Jane took her spear and rammed it through his left ball skewering it to the floor.

Jane then grabbed hold of the head of John's cock, pulled it tightly away from his body stretching it taut, and then told her sister to hold the blade of her knife against the base of his cock. Julie did this and made short and slow sawing motions with the blade slowly cutting through the shaft of his cock. As she cut through his cock meat she noticed that Sophie had moved closer and was sitting on the floor near to them with her legs spread wide open showing her wet pussy to them as she masturbated herself whilst watching then cut off her husband big cock. Sophie rubbed her clitoris frantically as young Julie sliced through her husbands cock. Then as Sophie neared her orgasm, she begged Julie to slice it off and make her eat it raw. Julie and Jane went wild with passion for each other and Sophie as Julie made on final swift movement with her knife and cut off his cock bringing Sophie to the strongest most beautiful orgasm she had ever had.

Both Julie and Jane presented John's severed cock to Sophie and demanded that she eat it raw. When she had devoured her husband's manhood Sophie vowed undying love to both Julie and Jane and promised to do anything they demanded of her. Julie and Jane then made wild lesbian love to Sophie and each other.

To be continued.

GNAA Early Post System (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6608963)

GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the first organization which
gathers GAY NIGGERS from all over America and abroad for one common goal - being GAY NIGGERS.

Are you GAY [] ?
Are you a NIGGER [] ?
Are you a GAY NIGGER [] ?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, then GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) might be exactly what you've been looking for!
Join GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) today, and enjoy all the benefits of being a full-time GNAA member.
GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the fastest-growing GAY NIGGER community with THOUSANDS of members all over United States of America. You, too, can be a part of GNAA if you join today!

Why not? It's quick and easy - only 3 simple steps!

First, you have to obtain a copy of GAY NIGGERS FROM OUTER SPACE THE MOVIE [] and watch it.

Second, you need to succeed in posting a GNAA "first post" on [] [], a popular "news for trolls" website

Third, you need to join the official GNAA irc channel #GNAA on EFNet, and apply for membership.
Talk to one of the ops or any of the other members in the channel to sign up today!

If you are having trouble locating #GNAA, the official GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA irc channel, you might be on a wrong irc network. The correct network is EFNet, and you can connect to or as one of the EFNet servers.
If you do not have an IRC client handy, you are free to use the GNAA Java IRC client by clicking here [] .

If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.

This post brought to you by Penisbird [] [] , a proud member of the GNAA

G_____________________________________naann_______ ________G
N_____________________________nnnaa__nanaaa_______ ________A
A____________________aanana__nannaa_nna_an________ ________Y
A_____________annna_nnnnnan_aan_aa__na__aa________ ________*
G____________nnaana_nnn__nn_aa__nn__na_anaann_MERI CA______N
N___________ana__nn_an___an_aa_anaaannnanaa_______ ________I
A___________aa__ana_nn___nn_nnnnaa___ana__________ ________G
A__________nna__an__na___nn__nnn___SSOCIATION_of__ ________G
G__________ana_naa__an___nnn______________________ ________E
N__________ananan___nn___aan_IGGER________________ ________R
A__________nnna____naa____________________________ ________S
A________nnaa_____anan____________________________ ________*
G________anaannana________________________________ ________A
N________ananaannn_AY_____________________________ ________S
A________ana____nn_________IRC-EFNET-#GNAA________ ________S
A_______nn_____na_________________________________ ________O
*_______aaaan_____________________________________ ________C

Re:GNAA Early Post System (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609152)

stop it. it's fucking annoying.

Floating in air... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6608969)

Isn't it hard enough surfing for porn with one hand already?

Re:Floating in air... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609179)

With this technology, you could use your pecker as a pointer. Hands-free porn surfing might become all the rage. As long as the shrinkage problem can be addressed and carpal pelvis syndrome can be avoided, this could become huge.

HoloTouch President and founder R. Douglas McPhete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6608972)

I don't see where I'm supposed to poke this hologram.

Different Uses... (1, Redundant)

mattyohe (517995) | more than 10 years ago | (#6608977)

Hopefully the porn industry latches onto this technology.

Re:Different Uses... (-1, Redundant)

Ominous Coward (106252) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609134)

Mods: Please note that this isn't really redundant as it was posted at the same time as the other comment about porn. "mattyohe" probably hadn't read the other comment when he made his comment.

Holotouch: Thus was born ... (-1, Redundant)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#6608983)

the virtual pr0n industry.

Too easy (1)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 10 years ago | (#6608987)

input devices that literally "float in the air".

No comment. None at all.

Re:Too easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609130)

That's right Georgey.. they all float..


Re:Too easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609183)

I won't say anything. Instead, I will relax and take a deep breath of fresh vapor.

insert-princess-leia-gag-here dept. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6608988)

Princess Leia will gag when I insert my massive purple-headed warrior into her mouth!

Whatever (0, Insightful)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 10 years ago | (#6608993)

HoloTouch already managed to secure the patent on its technology.

Jeebus - if it's not Microsoft bashing, it's the "all patents are evil" nonsense. Is there a template for Slashdot submissions or what?

Re:Whatever and ever amen (1)

diospadre (244392) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609022)

Seems less like trolling and more like random filler material to me.

Nobody said it was evil (4, Insightful)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609195)

They just pointed out that it was already patented. This isn't a ridiculous patent with an enormous amount of prior art to illustrate that it never should have been granted in the first place (AFAIK, IANAL).

Still using decimal and QWERTY though. (2, Interesting)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 10 years ago | (#6608999)

What about hexadecimal and dvorak (or other more efficient layouts)? Let's transition there first.

Re:Still using decimal and QWERTY though. (1)

Dr. Shim (576902) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609030)

But... I wanna make it float!!!

look before leap (3, Insightful)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609032)

Yeah, but what if you only have one eye? You can't see a hologram with only one eye. There's a whole bag of "this is not handicap accessible" with their name on it.

Not to mention, I like command line consoles. I guess its just that old style charm. I think I prefer plain old buttons under my fingers too. Maybe you could learn to type fast on a hologram, but with no physical feedback, it seems like it would be a royal pain to type at any great speed.

Re:look before leap (1)

saskwach (589702) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609174)

Information kiosks aren't for fast typing, they're for showiness. I seriously doubt anyone will want a hologram for a keyboard in common use.

Re:look before leap (2, Funny)

Santos L. Halper (591801) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609274)

On the upside, however, it would solve the problem of spilling Mountain Dew on the keyboard.

Re:look before leap (1)

cmeans (81143) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609188)

You're right. People with low vision (blind) would also not seem to be in the market for this sort of device either. However, not every device has to work well (or at all) for everyone.

There are ways however that this technology could still be used for people with vision disabilities, by having a tone sound until their hands are "correctly" positioned over the home keys, for instance. Then a unique tone, or sounding out of the letters as they're "pressed".

Of course, if the output is only on a screen, this segment of the population is excluded from the start anyway.

Re:look before leap (2, Insightful)

loucura! (247834) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609225)

The only problem, is security, if it's sending out a unique tone for each keypress, then to get username/password pairs, all you'll is a tape recorder, you could do it from far away too, with a uni-directional shotgun mic. That would be a bad thing.

Re:look before leap (5, Informative)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609218)

Uh... people with only one eye can't see the 3D aspect of a hologram. They can see a 2D picture just fine.

If they move their head, then they can see the 3d aspect as well.

One eyed folks will do just fine here.

Re:Still using decimal and QWERTY though. (2, Insightful)

cmeans (81143) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609038)

Technology like this would probably help to provide greater options for keyboard layouts. Instead of having to have a "hard" keyboard attached to the device, with tech. like this, the user could select from a list of options.

Seems like a step in the right direction to me.

Now we'll just need to get the tactile feel right :)

Re:Still using decimal and QWERTY though. (0)

Oculus Habent (562837) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609132)

Tactile is no problem. We just need HUGE magnets.

Re:Still using decimal and QWERTY though. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609066)

Only fucking cocks use dvorak.

Re:Still using decimal and QWERTY though. (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609271)

"What about hexadecimal and dvorak (or other more efficient layouts)? Let's transition there first. "

Yeah, let's move the buttons around on the keyboard before we give people tactile-less keybords!

Seriously, though, I don't see why we need to transition to antyhing first. Qwerty is defacto and nobody is complaining about it.

Douglas McPheters' HEAD (2, Funny)

dogas (312359) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609001)

I don't know about you, but the first thing I did when I got to that page was download the gigantic 500k image of the Holotouch president's gigantic yellow-toothed bald HEAD. Talk about putting a pretty face on the industry! yeah...

Re:Douglas McPheters' HEAD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609143)

Yeah he is quite the pilgarlic.

Re:Douglas McPheters' HEAD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609223)

Stop using $3 words please.

Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609002)

One step closer to being able to operate a computer like Tom Cruise in Minority Report.

Re:Great... (4, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609029)

too bad Tom Cruise isn't one step closer to being able to act.

Re:Great... (1)

porp (24384) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609283)

guess you've never seen Risky Business, Born on the Fourth of July, Interview with the Vampire, Eyes Wide Shut, or Magnolia... if movies like Legend, Cocktail, Top Gun, Days of Thunder, and of course, the classic All the Right Moves never existed, one might think Tom Cruise is a great actor


Sweeeeet... (1)

manduwok (610836) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609006)

Pretty spiffy if you ask me... I always thought the holographic technology in Minority Report was phatty...

Future tech... (1)

bytesmythe (58644) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609012)

This sounds similar to the devices that were used in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. I have been anxiously awaiting these sorts of gadgets ever since seeing that movie. With a few extra advances in holographic technology [] this could lead to input devices that a perfectly tailored to your body shape and preferences.

real, or just killing real invention? (4, Interesting)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609015)

already managed to secure the patent

But have they really been able to build one, or are they just patenting the idea with hopes someone else will and they they can sue and get rich? I see nothing on their website (other than very obviously mocked up fake pictures) or in the patent that says they really know how to do this.

Is that legit? (1)

Mathonwy (160184) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609059)

I know companies have been known to do it... but... I thought part of the patent law process was that you had to have a working model, in order to be awarded a patent?

(I'm not a patent lawyer, so I could be very wrong on this, and probably am)

How does that work then? Could I go out and patent something, like say, "Faster-than-light spaceship drive" and sit back and wait for someone to develop it, and then get rich?

That seems kinda messed up...

Not that that is any reason it couldn't be real...

Re:Is that legit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609103)

I beleive the only device that the patent office actually requires a working model of would be a perpetual motion machine.

Re:Is that legit? (3, Interesting)

clary (141424) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609118)

I thought part of the patent law process was that you had to have a working model, in order to be awarded a patent?
According to Scientific American [] , the requirement for a working model was rescinded in 1800, except for perpetual motion machines. ;-)

Re:real, or just killing real invention? (3, Informative)

saddino (183491) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609122)

I see nothing on their website (other than very obviously mocked up fake pictures) or in the patent that says they really know how to do this.

Huh? Their patent [] appears to explain exactly how to do this (hint: see the "DETAILED DESCRIPTION" section).

Re:real, or just killing real invention? (4, Informative)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609289)

Huh? Their patent appears to explain exactly how to do this (hint: see the "DETAILED DESCRIPTION" section).

Been there, read that. OK, maybe I just don't get it, but you tell me how The holographic image generator 200 actually manages to display a real time changing holographic image and then I'll accept that they have something. I just don't see anything in the patent or on their website that says they can really do this.

Re:real, or just killing real invention? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609194)

You might want to re-read the article more carefully. The "invention" is a good deal less exciting than you would expect. I interpreted it as a hologram-generation technology too, when I first read it. However:

Under his system, a holographic keypad begins with a holographic image of a real keypad, recorded by lasers on photographic film. This image is mounted on a plastic plate, which has infrared sensors behind it that can detect when the keypad is manipulated. When a light behind the plate is activated, the image appears to hover in front of it.

It's just a plain-vanilla hologram with some sensors to tell when you're finger would be sticking through it.

sounds cool enough (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609016)

The pictures are too obviously Photoshopped, though, so it's not like this is how the implementation will actually look. I'm rather disappointed that such a snazzy technology couldn't include a few photos of the actual product in action.

Re:sounds cool enough (0, Redundant)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609062)

You cant photograph a hologram, nor can you see it with only one eye.

Re:sounds cool enough (2, Insightful)

Ominous Coward (106252) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609186)

why not? Your eyes act as two high-res cameras, so how could you see it, but a mechanical camera could not? Perhaps it wouldn't have the right dimensions through a single camera, but it wouldn't be invisible to a single camera while magically visible to a pair of cameras connected via a bit of wetware.

Re:sounds cool enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609202)

Couldn't a stereoscopic camera handle taking the photograph?

I don't know, I am merely asking. I would imagine a two lense camera capable of steroscopic vision could take the photo.

of course you can (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609203)

...they do it just fine on the NYT article []

vapor (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609020)

it's still vaporware.. hold your horses folks. the provided images are obvious hacks.

Holo-hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609028)

How about a holo-hand that gives you a holo-handjob? Sex always leads the way with new technology.

Wow! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609033)

The /. effect is fast! The story's only been up for a few minutes and the site is already inaccessable!

slashdotted (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609037)

And so the CEO discovers the consequences of posting a 450k jpeg of himself.

One good application (4, Insightful)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609039)

I can't be the only one that thinks holographic keyboards would be a great idea for public computers, just so we needn't worry about the disgusting pub-funk that seems to coat most public keyboards.

Don't Deprive Your Immune System (2, Insightful)

Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609086)

We used to live in caves. Your body is perfectly capable of seeing off any nastyness you pick up of public keyboards.

To much cleanliness is just as unhealthy as too little. People that wash their hands all the time are generally ill far more often than those that feed their bodies immune system and let it develop in the way in which it is supposed to.

Re:Don't Deprive Your Immune System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609226)

>We used to live in caves.

We also used to live in groups of under 20-25. Not hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Being too careless can end a society (haven't you ever heard about that dirty public telephone plague that wiped out an entire world?)

Well, see (1)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609262)

That's why I said "worry." Often, fact is one thing, and peace of mind is quite another.

Millions of people would like thinking that they're being cleaner than before, even if there were no real danger to begin with.


Jonsey (593310) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609048)


HoloTouch already managed to secure the patent on its technology.

You mean, real devices, with physical implications, (semi-)practical uses, and no Prior Art can be patented? :: Grin ::

We are hard on the US patent office here @ /. It's nice to know that they issue patents for things that rightfully deserve patenting too.

Re:USPTO USPOT? USOPT? SCAM? (5, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609216)

It's nice to know that they issue patents for things that rightfully deserve patenting too.

Can you read the patent and figure out how the "The holographic image generator 200" works? I sure can't. Maybe I'm just dense and others can point out the invcention here, but how the hell does their supposed holographic image generator 200 work? If the purpose of a patent is to disclose how a device functions, and in doing so give the inventor a limited time monopoly on the invention in return for information that becomes public knowledge and will eventually become freely useable by all, then I think this patent falls far short of this requirement. I have serious doubts that the company even invented anything at all, it looks more to me like they hope someone else will and that they can then sue them, based on having obtained a patent without actually inventing anything or provide the public any value in return for the patent.

Gene Roddenberry strikes, again (1)

pjt48108 (321212) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609055)

This reminds me of the GR show, Earth:Final Conflict, where they fly spacecraft via interactive holographic display panels. I find this another funny way in which GR 'predicted' technology (although I am sure it is possible it appeared elsewhere earlier.. I just happened to catch it in EFC).

Roddenberry wasn't first here (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609105)

This was displayed quite well in the otherwise pretty much lame Johnny Mmemonic [] (1995), two years before "Earth: Final Conflict" (1997).

These are just the examples I've seen. I would suspect that this first appeared elsewhere even earlier than 1995.

Re:Roddenberry wasn't first here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609221)

Yeah, like in every anime ever made...ever...seriously...

Re:Gene Roddenberry strikes, again (1)

CrowScape (659629) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609215)

The concept was quite prevalent in Japanese Anime. For instance, E:FC came out in '97, by then Washu had been using her holographic interface in Tenchi for five years. E:FC just had fancy CGI to show it off.

Gone already (4, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609060)

The site is slashdotted already.

Just imagine the spectacle of "404 error" numbers flashing and floating in mid-air.

Ease of use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609071)

How do you think the responsiveness of these will be? For all we know these could make for piss poor keyboards like those found on cheap laptops...

Just what we need (1)

ergonal (609484) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609080)

Drivers, for example, would not have to take their eyes off the road to make a telephone call; they could punch a phone number into a transparent holographic keyboard projected in front of the windshield.

Just what we need, more distractions for drivers.

Re:Just what we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609248)

>Drivers, for example, would not have to take their eyes off the road to make a telephone call; they could punch a phone number into a transparent holographic keyboard projected in front of the windshield.

Dude, is that guy behind us dialing his phone, or giving me the finger?

Re:Just what we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609249)

Distractions could get worse than that, I can just picture the day when I'm driving down the road and suddenly an annoying advertisement pops up on my windshield saying "Your car has a virus, click here to get rid of it!", blocking my view of the road!

"already managed to secure the patent"?? (1)

vectus (193351) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609085)

"already managed to secure the patent on its technology"

That almost implies that there is some measure of difficulty associated with getting a patent. I take it that you're not from the US?

Re:"already managed to secure the patent"?? (1)

saddino (183491) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609178)

Let's see, according to the patent [] , it was filed on June 6, 1995, and awarded April 23, 2002. Almost seven years is not "some measure of difficulty?"

Pop-Up Windows Like Never Before!! (4, Funny)

Dr. Shim (576902) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609097)

Oh God. Just imagin if you want to go to but instead land at Or pop-ups... Or better yet... Japanese Killer Seizure Robots [] floating floating in your face!

Semen Stains (0, Troll)

thedogcow (694111) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609098)

Yes, now the keyboard is holographic but Gravity still comes into affect here, so now it will just land on the holographic-producing device.


Re:Semen Stains (0, Flamebait)

Dr. Shim (576902) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609150)

Or, what if they have a holographic device to make a holographic device float in the air as a holograph emitting your keyboard as a holograph? Or, they could just make it wireless... Bah. I bet the first editions of the device are AS BIG AS YOUR HEAD. They usually are anyways.

I bet the Magic Circle are very annoyed about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609107)

Although they really should patent their secrets rather than rely on cursing people who break the silence.

Tactile Feedback is important (5, Insightful)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609109)

Anybody see the lack of tactile feedback as a problem? Holograms are great for unobtrusive displays like in aircraft like the story says, but once you start interacting with it, you would expect some type of feedback.

Especially, if they plan to use this sort of thing for remote medical procedures. Imagine a doctor trying to perform a delicate surgery, without any sort of sensation of touch whatsoever.

Maybe they'll come up with force feedback gloves or something.

Re:Tactile Feedback is important (2, Informative)

mblase (200735) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609182)

Anybody see the lack of tactile feedback as a problem?

Only if they fail to combine it with some sort of visual and/or audio feedback -- such as making the number you press blink white and go "bing!" when you touch it.

Re:Tactile Feedback is important (1)

seite-f00f (458255) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609213)

> Maybe they'll come up with force feedback gloves or something.

if they do, they won't need their "patented sensor technologie" won't they?

greetings form OLD europe

Yeah so... (5, Funny)

Valiss (463641) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609115)

I have a doormat in front of my front door. It's a holodoormat, not a square drawn on the ground with chalk as someone of lesser intelligence might think. When you step on it it'll ring the door bell (after you hit the button). Anyone wanna buy one? Oh and I have 10MB images that you can download of it; and they aren't picture of my front door with a photoshopped square drawn where a doormat should be. I swear.

hey that's not holographic! (1)

hatrisc (555862) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609116)

that's my friend's dad! here []

Society for Information Display (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609121)

Cant blame slashdot but the NYT is lagging a bit as I remember seeing it in an article last september here [] even has some of the same pictures.
article follows:

HoloTouch Unveils "Controls that Float in Thin Air"

Darien, Connecticut, September 12 - HoloTouch, Inc. announced today that it will introduce its new holographic control technology into operating rooms and other sterile environments. HoloTouch(TM) patented technology enables controls that float in thin air, allowing healthcare personnel to manage a wide variety of electronic devices by simply "touching" 3D holographic images floating at a convenient location.

"Surgeons often need to view footage from the beginning of a medical procedure. With HoloTouch, the controls are contained in holographic images, projected directly in front of the surgeon. The surgeon's hands may be covered in blood, but, since the "button" to be pushed consists only of beams of light, there are no contamination issues," said HoloTouch inventor and President R. Douglas McPheters.

John D. Fisher, M.D., Director of Arrhythmia Services and Professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, praised the new technology as a significant improvement over existing methods. "During angioplasties, pacemaker implantations, and other cardiac procedures we must be able to quickly see the visual record of the patient's condition at various times since the beginning of the procedure. With HoloTouch, the surgeon is in direct control of this visual record, eliminating the delay and risk of misinterpretation that exists under present systems," Dr. Fisher said.

The company is speaking with several manufacturers interested in licensing HoloTouch for use in high-end audio-visual equipment, car phones, "factory floor" applications, military hardware, and other electronic devices, McPheters said.

Wait a second (2, Interesting)

zejackal (186296) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609140)

Not much detail on the company's website. I'm interested in how they construct the image. If it is truely holographic, then it will require a medium for the image to be projected on. After all, a hologram is just an interference pattern. That is unless of course they plan on projecting directly onto the retina which I find hard to believe. So the image won't float in the air above the body of the person being operated on, it will float in front of some display case. It won't be visible from all angles either. They don't call it a free floating volumetric display, so it must be projected. It sounds cool, but not as cool as it's made out.

Man... (1)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609151)

This'll take all the fun out of therapeutically banging the bejesus out of keys in frustration, unless Rimmer's "hard light" becomes a reality. Wouldn't you feel silly just slamming your fingers on air?

This is just a shameless promo... (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609163)

for that new Spy Kids movie!

But could you really type on it? (4, Insightful)

KillerHamster (645942) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609164)

I can see some advantages to a keyboard you wouldn't have to touch, but I don't think I could use it. The feedback I get by pressing the keys is how I know that I hit the correct one and that I pressed down far enough. The feel of the keyboard is also how I know where to position my hands without looking. I would probably have to look at something like this while I type, which would slow me down drastically.

Click here for the REAL article text.. (-1)

(TK2)Dessimat0r (669581) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609165)

CLICK here!!! []

[][][][ m][][][][nytimes. com][]
[][][][ m][][][][nytimes. com][]

Floating 3D Picture (1)

nherc (530930) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609168)

If this ISN'T vaporware... which I think it is.

Wouldn't you just need to project a series of these in a row to create a 'cube' space where you could then project 3D scenes?

A word from Pennywise the Clown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609170)

Floating controls?

" they float,we all float down here...."

I want the handhelds with the holo-keyboards... (1)

HarveyBirdman (627248) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609191)

...from Xenosaga, Episode 1.

The keys lit up and beeped when you "hit" them to provide some level of feedback. Pretty sweetly designed tech for an RPG cutscene.

Oh, and gimme one of those KOD-MOS battle androids, too, as long as I'm dreaming.

That's Incredible! And missing! (1)

Chagatai (524580) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609197)

I know this is kind of OT, but does anyone remember an episode of the classic TV show "That's Incredible" that showed a segment on 3-D television? Some inventors came up with a box that would put images in 3-D format without glasses. Not only that, but the effect persisted even if you closed one eye. I thought that it would be promising technology to use with interactive terminals such as this holography equipment where "buttons" are pressed by passing a finger through an IR field. Anyone have any info on that invention?

Is their tech only detecting the 'keypress'? (1)

maddugan (549314) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609199)

I get the feeling their technology is only the part that detects the "keypress" and not the actually display of the hologram.

problems (2, Interesting) (142825) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609205)

With a holgraphic keyboard, you get the ability to customize on the fly, so you can adjust the keyboard position and size for the person.

But...... it can't be used as a long term replacement for a keyboard. A regular keyboard provides lift to the fingers when releasing the keys, thus reducing the work on the fingers. This cuts down on RSIs.

Go for it Cowboy Neal (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609222)

For some reason, the image comes to mind, unbidden:

Cowboy Neal, marching down the street, wearing display goggles. His special custom hologram GUI/keyboard hovers in front of him (he can see it in his goggles, no one else can).

Trying to keep Slashdot afloat, he is furiously moderating the new posts: both fists are stabbing middle fingers all over the place right and left in front of him in mid-air as he walks down the street.

To passersby, it looks like a cross between Mike Tyson, an NYC cabbie flipping the bird out the window, the the crazy homeless man who walks around talking to himself.

Re:Go for it Cowboy Neal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609282)

Ahh, yes. With the exception that none of them would be screaming "goatsex! goatsex! goatsex!" [] ..

Or we'd hope at least.

Friendly Pictures (1)

Biomechanoid (515993) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609243)

Well, looking at the friendly pictures on that site, it seems pretty dandy if you have just sliced someone open and are interested in figuring out what the contents are by pushing some buttons without getting that blood all over the place.

Anything Real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609247)

Did anyone find one single piece of evidence that this product even exists? Their web site is less than a year old and only has a couple of photoshopped images. The patent has a couple of pencil drawings, and that's it. The NYT article has a picture of a keypad inside a cardboard box? And 'infoperk' turns up ZERO RESULTS ON GOOGLE! I simply can not believe that a company liscencing this technology would have ZERO RECORD OF THEIR NAME ON THE ENTIRE INTERNET!!

Prior Art (1)

Cryoabyss (443279) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609252)

I don't mean to spoil the fun, but I developed a device much like this one many years ago using holograms and lasers. Poof goes the patent :)


Sweeet... (4, Funny)

MImeKillEr (445828) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609259)

Now people won't have to strain their necks to see your pin number while shoulder surfing.

I can hardly wait!

WHat a Load of Shaite! (1, Redundant)

nherc (530930) | more than 10 years ago | (#6609267)

Basically their patent says: Once someone figures out how to create a floating hologram, we figured out how to interacte with it by get this "TOUCHING" THE HOLOGRAM!

Those are some smart bastards. The patent office really makes me sick.

From the patent:


The present invention relates generally to a holographic operator interface to electronic or electromechanical devices such as data processing units or computers and, more particularly, to a holographic operator interface where there is no tangible physical contact between the operator and the control elements of the operator interface as the input devices are holographic images of the keys or other customarily touch-activated tangible input devices. Operator interaction is detected through electromagnetic or other means, thereby obviating the need for direct physical contact with a solid input object or surface.

hazard? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6609275)

Hey, you wont short your kbd when spilling your coffee...

I could see a pilot accidently put his hand through the controls and eject himself.

Even if it does work it would probably be more of an inconvenience/hazard than a help.
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