The San Jose Mercury News has a summary today of the advent of “no touch” computing that will be coming fairly soon thanks to three dimensional sensors that represent the world to the machine in a much richer fashion than simple flat, 2 dimensional models. 3D sensors will allow people to interact with many devices in a much more natural way – for example via simply looking at a screen and moving your hands you could have dramatic control over a gaming environment.
The Mercury News seems to be suggesting that useful applications are about 5 years out but I’d guess we’ll have robust no touch devices within 3 years and high quality direct brain control within a decade. Braingate is already using brain control and Emotiv has developed a commercial version brain control device that uses theta waves that are read froma sensory “cap” with about 16 sensors. The Emotiv headset will be available to consumers this year.
Mercury News article