A multi-touch Google Earth

Quite often I feel like I should using this time in my life to travel the world and visit new places. Instead, I find myself sitting here, at my desk, writing about technology. That is why Google Earth is one of my favorite programs. It’s virtual escapism that allows me to travel anywhere in the world I want during my coffee breaks. That said, I find the navigation on the program rather clunky. I mean, how useful is a mouse and keyboard when you have the whole world at your fingertips? And soon you might be able to use those fingertips to navigate the world.

Watch the video below to see how I’d like Google Earth to be navigated — on a giant screen with your hands. The two finger zoom could be a bit more responsive, but it appears that this is on a projected screen rather than an actual multi-touch screen, so the lag may have something to do with that. The title of the video indicates that this is a holographic display, but it doesn’t appear to be three dimensional, as the Google Earth Design blog points out (it’s hard to tell on a 2D video).

This video apparently comes out of the LM3Labs, a Tokyo, Japan-based company that does a lot of interactive display work for large companies including Panasonic, Philips, Vodafone, Microsoft, Toyota and others.

When I can virtually travel the Earth and get work done on a display similar to the one Tom Cruise uses in Minority Report, I’ll be a happy man.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/422742 w=550&h=366]
Holographic Google Earth from Nicolas Loeillot on Vimeo.

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