5 December 2012, Singapore – The good people at Singtel kindly invited the Metropolitant Team to a media preview of the newly setup Singtel Experience Centre at ComCentre, in which a futuristic Man-Machine interaction ala “Minority Report” touch screen globe is showcased.
With the tagline Around the World in 80 ms, the centre features ultra-high definition images of three iconic cities: Paris, Shanghai and Rio de Janeiro. Users switch cities by simply touching the city on a touch-sensitive interactive globe map. Images were shown on a giant 14-metre, 180-degree circular screen, which is projected from 6 high-performance projectors from Project Design. The images itself are about 20 GB each in size and it took approximately over 5 hours of continuous shooting to collect the images and then stitch it into a immersive panoramic image.
Through pre-programmed gestures (currently limited at 4 at launch), users can zoom in and out of images and navigate to points of interest through intuitive swimming-style movements and binoculars-like gestures. They can also take a photograph of themselves superimposed on the city landscape and share them via facebook. The user gestures were picked up by the Microsoft Kinect motion sensors (10 in total), which surrounds the the 180 degree circular screen. The system is able to detect the presence of up to five concurrent users and automatically adjusts images to cater to each user.
We were impressed by the product demonstration, and it reminded us of the classic Tom Cruise scene in “Minority Report”, except that no special gloves were needed to interact with the screen. The experience could have been better if there was less time delay during the interaction.
The Metropolitant Team asked the Group Director of Singtel’s Digital Experience & Design department on the possible commercial applications that could stem from the current fun experience in Around the World in 80 ms demonstration. He shared with us on the possible application in retail malls and gaming as the immediate direct application. Most importantly, Singtel hopes to develop a novel human-machine interaction methods, which would give users new experience when they use multimedia and internet at home, for example. For the time being, Singtel via the use of the Experience Centre to analyze user data on how each user interacts with the system – what gestures they use, how quickly they learn, how they respond to tutorials, how they engage with natural gestures; And use this information to explore how the technology can be applied in real-life commercial applications.
Where to experience?
The SingTel Experience Centre will be open to the public from Thursday 6 December during normal SingTel Shop operating hours at ComCentre, 31 Exeter Road. For more information, please visit experiencecentre.sg.