Lets hope the eye-candy stuff propels the technology so that the really useful stuff can be built at a lower price.
Actually, I remember hearing that a simple mirror can do that.
In all seriousness this is freaking awesome tech. Will definitely be huge, unless they fuck up the licensing or patent it to death.
Messed up? You're just looking at what it's doing, not how it can be applied. The ability to monitor a child with special needs with this sort of application is pretty amazing. Suddenly, this information can be transmitted and used to assist with therapy. Knowing how often a child uses a spoon/fork rather than his hands due to real data rather than parents recalling is powerful.
It also provides powerful feedback. A system setup to remind them child if they stop using their fork/spoon by showing a picture to remind them. This is already used in training. Unfortunately, it can't be automated. Tools like this would allow for that, and the potential is staggering. We are clearly years away, but this has the great potential to really help people.
That happens far too often. You have to disconnect yourself from only looking at one element though. Generally, you have an interaction taking place in the form of Event > Action. Something occurs, and then something happens. In this case, the method of eating is the event. The sound happens to be the action. However, you can always replace the Action with anything else (you can also replace the event with anything else.
Basically, this is how you should approach demos. Not as the end, but as the possibilities.
a gun that senses it is being held in a weird way will not fire.
I think the first application will be on a mouse. A mouse that has multi-dimensional touch features would be great.
This will also make creating an interface to control things like the whole house very easy. Basically enabling complex control of a full building's BMS easily.
But mistakes happen (and idiots happen), and occasionally someone has an accidental discharge while handling or cleaning.
I think where this would really shine is for user recognition/unlock as mentioned by a previous poster. There have already been attempts at user recognition, but those relied on magnetic rings or RFID chips.
I am not saying it will solve all this - but if this can be applied, it may easily reduce it.
Or, it can result in more dead people.
Guns that don't go off when the trigger is pulled get people killed.
FWIW, "cleaning their gun" is usually cop for "the family doesn't need the stigma of a suicide ane needs the insurance money if any".
There's also some evidence that a lot of the "kid found a gun" are successful murders (by parents) or, at best, depraved indifference. The families that have them are usually "interesting".
I stopped reading the research 10-15 years ago, long after it became clear that the research didn't have any effect on people's positions.
For example, Raymond Veldhuis has been working on smart gun grips that identify their owner since 2003: http://www.sas.el.utwente.nl/open/people/Raymond%20Veldhuis
Brings a whole new meaning to hacking, also.
In fact, wouldn't an actual fingerprint scanner be more effective for this purpose? Having used biometric readers, I frankly would not trust my life to one. Nonetheless, it [fingerprint reader] would be infinitely preferable to any technique that required fine motor control in high adrenaline situations.
edit : this thread made me instantly think of Judge Dredd.
I wonder about the potential of a screen-less touch vocabulary, such that you could type a text message without taking the phone out of your pocket. (Siri is nice and all, but it requires the user to yield control to the Cloud and pray that it responds accurately.)
Also I never understand capacative sensing. Does the human have to be grounded for it to work? Why not?