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Minority Report Company Thriving in Downtown LA

There was a great little piece Friday in MIT’s Technology Review about Oblong Industries, the downtown LA headquartered maker of very high-end computer interface systems.

It makes sense that MIT would be the source of a write-up. The firm’s uber-cool touch-screen products, first showcased in Steven Spielberg‘s 2002 movie Minority Report, are the brainchild of one-time MIT Media Lab researcher John Underkoffler. Check out just how far Underkoffler’s mind-bending technologies have come:

Oblong’s newest offering, Mezzanine, wraps a standard office conference room in high-res displays and a digital whiteboard. Meeting attendees can move things around with a wand that’s tracked in three dimensions. They point at something on one wall, click, and then pull back with their arm to lift it from one screen and deposit it on another…

A Mezzanine system is a pricey commitment (the company won’t confirm exactly how expensive), and it involves lots of jumbo screens and a rack of servers to process everything in real time.

FishbowlLA’s favorite part of the MIT article is this quantification of overall app progress: “the next version won’t even require gloves.” That and the fact that two of Oblong’s current job openings are for “low-level C++ hackers.”

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