New “Minority Report” Screen Runs Windows Embedded

Blogger Long Zheng noticed something cool at the National Retail Federation Convention & Expo this week – a digital screen that brings to mind the intelligent signage featured in the movie “Minority Report.” Many of us have long since looked to that popular sci-fi film starring Tom Cruise for hints of what’s to come in the world of tech. In 2006, we looked at Microsoft Research projects which offer intuitive human interfaces to machines and more recently, we’ve seen things like Microsoft Surface computing, the direct manipulation video player DimP, Seadragon’s large collection management, and the upcoming full body motion control for Xbox, Project Natal, all of which seem inspired by the film. Now you can add this digital signage proof-of-concept to the list of Microsoft-created “Minority Report-esque” developments.

Created in conjunction with Intel, this sign run an Intel Core i7 processor and Windows Embedded Standard 2011, the next release of Windows Embedded which is based on Windows 7. The sign, like the one in the movie, senses when people come near the screen and it can recommend products for you to buy. However, unlike the sign in the movie, it doesn’t actually identify you by name (whew! That was a little freaky), but it does recognize your gender and height. You can also touch the screen itself or wave your hand in front of it to interact with the software and see the ads being offered, view a store map, access coupons and send them to your phone, and more.

To see the sign in action, check out this YouTube video here.  

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