Perimeter
2/1/2012
03:43 PM
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Commentary
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Where's My 'Minority Report' Dashboard?

Why haven't user interfaces for security products taken advantage of human movement technologies?

Ever since I first saw the movie Minority Report, I’ve been waiting on the edge of my seat for a SIEM vendor to emulate the UI employed by Tom Cruise to solve crimes. If you don’t remember the movie, or have never seen it, Cruise’s character uses an interactive screen to investigate murders that have yet to happen (a.k.a., "The PreCrime Program") using the collective intelligence of three psychics kept in a drug-induced vegetative state. All information related to the murders is provided to him in the form of video feeds, information about the location, and information about the target and suspect. The entire system was controlled using a touchscreen and what looked to be updated versions of Nintendo’s Power Glove gaming accessories.

The movie was released in 2002 -- that’s 10 years ago for those of you counting at home. Even with the invention of Nintendo’s Wii controller in 2006 and Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect controller in 2010 (not to mention the subsequent release of Microsoft’s Kinect SDK), a commercial Minority Report-like interface has yet to be commercially released.

I know that many SIEM vendors bring in college and university students for cooperative education and internships, so why not task one or two of them with building a prototype? Even if you can’t see a direct revenue opportunity for developing said prototype, you can be sure it would look great at your next conference booth for demos. Furthermore, what’s stopping some entrepreneurial-minded students from creating an entire company around providing Kinect interfacing for established products?

I guess a few questions need to be answered. Is there no need for an advanced interface of this nature? Are users happy to click through screens as they have been doing for years? Has the surfing of the Internet become so ubiquitous that all products must emulate HTML-driven workflows? Ultimately, do things need to change?

What are your thoughts?

Andrew Hay is senior analyst with The 451 Group's Enterprise Security Practice and is an author of three network security books. Follow him on Twitter: http://twitter.com/andrewsmhay.

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vrentropy
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vrentropy,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/2/2012 | 4:10:01 PM
re: Where's My 'Minority Report' Dashboard?
I think someon needs to find a way to get past 'gorilla arms' before this could be even a little bit viable.

As an experiment, hold your arms straight our in front of you and count to 60 slowly.-á After that, consider trying to do that all day.
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