The astounding technology seen in science fiction films rarely becomes a reality. We have yet to travel back in time or enjoy a chat with a hologram.
So it is not surprising that many believed that the computers from films such as "Minority Report," "Iron Man" and the latest James Bond movie were also the stuff of wild imagination.
The characters point and gesture at projected screens, using their hands to control and manipulate what they see in a vivid portrayal of the interaction between man and marvelous machine.
Now a scientist who advised the makers of "Minority Report" in creating this futuristic vision has made these imagined technologies a reality. The development could fundamentally change the way we interact with computers, consigning the mouse to the scrap heap.
Instead of using just one hand to control a mouse, someone with "G-Speak" — after slipping on special gloves — uses both, and is able to communicate with a PC intuitively.
"Human hands are the most sophisticated manipulating tools in the world," said John Underkoffler, chief scientist at Oblong Industries, the Los Angeles-based company that has created the technology.
"The idea is to drop the mouse and let hands do what they're fully capable of. That is to describe and push, poke and pull and manipulate the world."