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Manual Control

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A Wii-like wand used to manipulate data with gestural control in the Mezzanine system.

A new collaborative conferencing system allows multiple users to share and control digital data across multiple screens from any device, using gesture-based controls.

Credit: Oblong Industries

Former Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researcher John Underkoffler, now CEO of Oblong Industries, has developed Mezzanine, a collaborative-conferencing system that enables multiple users to simultaneously share and control digital content across several screens from any device using gesture controls. Underkoffler says Mezzanine could be used to improve productivity during meetings.

"If you can make those meetings synthetically productive--not just times for people to check in, produce status reports, or check email surreptitiously under the table--that can be an electrifying force for the enterprise," he says.

Mezzanine surrounds a conference room with multiple screens and a small server that controls and syncs the equipment. Several Wii-like wands, each equipped with six degrees of freedom, enable users to manipulate content depending on certain gestures they make with the wand.

The system is based on g-speak, a spatial operating environment used by developers to create their own programs that run like Mezzanine. G-speak grew out of a MIT Media Lab project called Luminous Room, which Underkoffler co-invented. Luminous Room featured light bulbs that projected information and could make any projected surface an interactive computer screen. He notes the concept of using the entire room as a digital workplace became the foundation for g-speak.

From MIT News
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