TED Talk Response – Re: Jinha Lee’s talk on the shrinking boundaries between humans and computers

The original TED Talk, “Reach into the computer and grab a pixel” can be found on its official WordPress blog.

Throughout the last few decades, there has been quite a trend to make human interactions with technology more efficient by shrinking the physical boundaries that separates us. In Lee’s talk, he provides a demonstration on not just shrinking the boundaries between humans and computers, but inverting the said boundaries.

Gone are the days in which having to “Press Play on Tape” or “C:/>” to run a program is mainstream. We are living in a society where we can interact with technology through a peripheral keyboard, as well as a touchscreen keyboard. We are able to, as Lee states, interact with technology literally at a millimetres’ distance. Lee takes the interaction even closer by having us interact WITHIN technology, taking augmented reality to a new level. By placing our hands within the 3-D “monitor”, we are able to interact with the software through our gestures, grabbing, pulling, holding, pinching the software as if they would literally fit inside our hands. Perhaps mathematically speaking, Lee has demonstrated that we will eventually be able to interact with technology at a “negative” amount of millimetres within the x, y, and z dimensions of the monitor.

Furthermore, I really see strong potential in 3-D monitor technology as being used hand in hand with the 3-D printer technology of today. For instance, Microsoft Paint software will become Microsoft Sculpt, and Wacom would definitely take marketing advantage of the situation by selling Wacom Batons, a 3-D version of their styluses.

Shrinking the boundaries in order to revolutionize video gaming

Lee’s talk left a little bit to be desired. The video game industry is a huge business, and I wonder how would this drastic improvement in augmented reality technology improve the already gargantuan video gaming industry? How can this technology be applied to be compatible to literally “reach in” with the video gaming communities’ demands in terms of gaming peripherals?

Despite this talk being more Microsoft orientated, I have more of a personal preference for Nintendo given that I grew up with Nintendo consoles ever since I learned how to read and write in school. Nintendo revolutionized gaming with the Nintendo Wii – allowing you to interact with the Wii-mote as a sword/baseball bat/wheel, as if you were in a 3-D space. Wii Sports and WarioWare Smooth Moves come to my mind in terms of innovative technology.

Suppose Atlus makes a new game for this revolutionary 3-D immersive technology. Trauma Centre, a medical/drama genre of gaming, comes to my mind. Imagine wielding a scalpel, reaching into the patient’s body to excise a troublesome stomach tumour. You will be evaluated along the way depending on not just how well you cut out the tumour on an x,y field, but literally, how deep you perform the incision along the z field.

Medical simulation and training with this technology can save lives

Speaking of how this technology can be applied in the medical field, I have written an article on how 3-D printers can be used to literally print out replacement organs for transplant.

It goes without saying: a mistake in real life surgery can be life threatening for the patient. This 3-D computer technology allows student patients to learn, with the use of surgery peripherals to perform simulated operations on a simulated patient. Mistakes may be made, coupled with realistic haemorrhaging consequences for instance. However, it is better to make mistakes on a simulated patient than a real life patient.

Medical diagnoses can be made more accurately if one combines x-ray technology with the technology of a 3-D computer. Not only can the doctor inspect a holographical reconstruction of the patient, but he or she can point out, disassemble, and make annotations on the simulated patient, before publishing it as a 3-D equivalent of a PDF file to the medical department as a patient report.


“TED Talk Response – Re: Jinha Lee’s talk on the shrinking boundaries between humans and computers” is published on July 3, 2013, which is part of my muses. Read more about Vincent Wong’s work at http://vincentwongwanders.wordpress.com .

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