"I'm not a scientist or a physicist, Mr. Spock..."
In the original Star Trek episodes, the sliding doors were controlled by a man off-camera. On cue he opened the doors, tugging on a wire threaded through a pulley system. Now, commonplace sensor technology opens doors with ease as someone approaches to enter or leave a building. As our entertainment illusions have advanced from the original Star Trek days, so has our perception of technologies abilities to interpret our human moves and react accordingly.
Think Prometheus, Minority Report, Avatar, Iron Man and the latest Star Trek feature films -- all of these show the human interacting with intelligent technology by a swipe of the hand. In return, a 3-D hologram’ish image moves and responds accordingly, just as we might believe technology of the future could behave. In order for the technology in these Sci-Fi movies to react to the human waving their hands around (must have been fun for the actors against the green screen, NOT!), there have to be sophisticated and interpretive sensors built into the technology we witness in our beloved Sci-Fi movies.
Apical, headquartered in London is developing this sophisticated and interpretive human movement software today and they call it Spirit. Spirit detects an individual as they move through a space and analyzes where they are going, where they are looking, for how long, their movements and potentially their emotions being emitted on the face.
In an interview recently with VentureBeat Michael Tusch, CEO and cofounder of Apical notes that non-smartphone products using the technology, such as sensors [customers and marketers may see this first in retail spaces] may emerge by the end of 2015, and smartphones with this capability will follow sometime in 2016.
Check out this YouTube video demonstrating the analysis the Spirit technology is completing on passersby in a public space: