Day 11 - the 21 Day #lightbulb Challenge

From Point n Click to Point n Dwell

I am very interested in new and emerging technology so when I met and spoke to John Graves at a LATE event at the Museum I asked to meet for lunch and found out that technology really is evolving faster than us.

We are all familiar with the act of pointing and clicking on a screen. But what if we neither had to touch the screen or use a keyboard to interact with the computer. Voice recognition software has been around for years, some better than others but this project takes all that to a new level.


Tomorrow John Graves leaves for San Francisco to attend Singularity University, located at NASA Ames Research Park, in Mountain View, California

>Each year for Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program, we select a set of team projects that have the potential to positively impact 1 billion people within a decade, leveraging exponentially advancing technologies. Each team project includes 10-15 international and interdisciplinary students.

The students start off with a week of intensive learning, bringing them up to speed with the latest technology and thought leadership

Singularity University on Youtube

From the New York Times

Some of Silicon Valley’s smartest and wealthiest people have embraced the Singularity. They believe that technology may be the only way to solve the world’s ills, while also allowing people to seize control of the evolutionary process. For those who haven’t noticed, the Valley’s most-celebrated company — Google — works daily on building a giant brain that harnesses the thinking power of humans in order to surpass the thinking power of humans.

The university represents the more concrete side of the Singularity, and focuses on introducing entrepreneurs to promising technologies. Hundreds of students worldwide apply to snare one of 80 available spots in a separate 10-week “graduate” course that costs $25,000. Chief executives, inventors, doctors and investors jockey for admission to the more intimate, nine-day courses called executive programs.

Both courses include face time with leading thinkers in the areas of nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, energy, biotech, robotics and computing.


Ultimately, the entire universe will become saturated with our intelligence”. “This is the destiny of the universe.” - Mr. Kurzweil 


John Graves has been working on an Open Source project called Open Alure using Python Code. It's early days but exciting for sure.

Open Alure

Open Allure is a project aimed at developing new ways to share what we know with one another by permitting the collaborative creation and experience of interactive dialogs. These verbal exchanges give your interaction with the computer a very different quality and permit immediate feedback to help reinforce or reorganize your thinking. Because voice recognition is still imperfect, the interface also supports making choices bygesture: your webcam watches you as you raise your hand.

So with the same basic hardware (headset microphone and webcam) you might use with Skype, Open Allure offers you a conversation with your computer: it talks, it listens, it watches, it responds.

A video about Open Alure

A demonstration on Open Alure


Ok so that gives you some insight as to Open Alure now lets bring this into some context. (FYI you can't do this yet I'm just dreaming up possible applications)

This voice and dwelling (positing the hand so the sensor can select a command) technology is cheap and very simple. You probably already have a computer, webcam and a headset, so you're already to go. 

Touch screen technology is expensive but setting up a video display in your shop window is feasible. 

On Jervois Rd, Herne Bay a real estate agent has a projector displaying a slideshow of properties they are selling. But its a visual, you can't interact with the display to learn more or speed through the images. So its still a monologue.

With the Open Alure technology you could allow pedestrians to interact with your website from your Shop Window.

Simply use the projector to project the display from your PC to the window and add a webcam so when a person is in the right position their hand gestures could be recognized allowing them to interact with the website, opening pages, zooming in on photos, playing a video walk through of a property, anything. If you had a microphone they could even leave a message for someone to call them back the following day.


Think about the future when we are beyond physical interaction and our voice, gestures or even thoughts and eye movements control our interactions with the virtual space. 

I think the intersection of virtual and real world engagement is about to change...for the better? Well thats up to you to decide.


Excited? I am. You can follow John here and you can get involved or just follow the Open Alure Project through its Google Group