Gesture Glove Not Science Fiction

gesture technology, bill whitaker

John Underkoffler is putting the "G" in gee whiz. In a downtown L.A. warehouse, he and a caffeinated team of computer wizards are conjuring up the next big thing: gesture technology.

As CBS News Correspondent Bill Witaker reports, the latest in computer technology is the G-Speak Gestural Technology System, a glove that is faster and more logical than a mouse and keyboard.

Using the technology, you can move anything anywhere on the screen.

"All one needs to do to do that is to point to it and sort of grab it," says Underkoffler

It gives new meaning to "point and click."

If you want to scan ahead on video, you can just point.

People that try the new technology tend to get the hang of it in a few seconds.

Because the technology first appeared in the sci-fi movie "Minority Report," many assume it's science fiction.

"The movie was actually based on work that we were performing at MIT," Underkoffler says. So it wasn't really science fiction.

"It was only masquerading as science fiction. Now, it's science fact," he says.

Like a fog screen that hangs an image in midair, they're part of a new generation of mind-blowing technology that is taking a big step into the future. And it's not just some techie gee whiz -- as the outside world is discovering.

Col. Bruce Sturk runs the extremely high-tech battlelab at Langley Air Force Base and was inspired by the technology in "Minority Report."

"As a military person, I said 'My goodness, how great would it be if we had something similar to that?'," Sturk says.

He might soon. Defense contractor Raytheon is financing the gesture technology team, seeing potential fighting terrorists by scanning and matching images, and fighting wars by coordinating the flood of intelligence and making it instantly intelligible in the heat of battle.

Retired Air Force Gen. Gerald F. Perryman, Jr. with Raytheon says customers are eager for the technology.

"Our customers are very interested in decision quality actionable information," Perryman says. "That's their term. They want speed and accuracy in getting that information."

Underkoffler sees less lethal uses, also.

"(I see it used for) of course, videogames," he says. "And then for air traffic control, medical imaging, financial services, anywhere there's an enormous amount of information."

And the best part — it's right in the palm of your hand.