MisTable may be the closest innovation I've seen that parallels the futuristic gestural interface from (underrated classic) Minority Report. Rather than using your hands to manipulate 3D-images of the murders of tomorrow, though, the tabletop system developed by Bristol Interaction and Graphics combines a flat surface with floating screens made of mist which are both see-through and can be hand-manipulated. In other words, you can maneuver drifting projections as if they were actually tangible (and filled with helium).
The project invites users to engage in a variety of novel interactions such as "passing" 3D projections to other people sitting at the MisTable, as well as moving and turning 2D and 3D images as if they were model toys on a rotating stand. The system also allows parties to see multiple mist projections at once.
Created by Diego martinez Plasencia, Edward Joyce, and Sriram Subramanian, MisTable integrates a Kinect, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) tabletop (typically used to visualize an infrared spectrum of gas, or in this case, vapor), a Leap controller, fog machines, and projectors to bring this next-gen interface to life. This invention could be a game-changer for the future of public presentations, 3D-modelling, and (possibly) a unit of time cops led by Tom Cruise that prevents crime before it happens. See some photos of the system in action below:
GIFs via Prosthetic Knowledge
See more at Briston Interactions and Graphics here.
@zachsokol (loves mist; loves Minority Report)