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Is there a new Quantum Leap in Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence on the Horizon?

Date:
19 April 2013
Author:
Dr. Ralph Schuster

A few years ago I saw a woman in the house opposite doing some strange movements. I thought she must be on drugs or seriously ill, until a colleague of mine explained she is playing Wii. I am not a gamer, but I could not imagine that this kind of movement control is a huge improvement in controlling actions on your computer outside of the gaming scene. But now a new controller is coming on the market that has the potential to become a complete game changer in the human interface device market.  Leap Motion™ [1] is a completely new controller device that allows you to control your computer by doing gestures in the air.  You put a small box on the desk and you can use both hands to control your computer in 3 dimensions without touching anything. According to Leap Motion™ the device is “up to 200 times more sensitive than existing motion-control technology” and recognizes your individual fingers [2]. Leap Motion™ announced the start of sale for their product to be in May.  In contrast to Microsoft, Leap Motion™ welcomes hacks of their device and has given prototypes to the developer community that resulted in impressive basic applications as you can see on youtube.com.

Although designed to change the way of web browsing, designing and gaming, this new device could also revolutionize data warehouse and business intelligence applications. Research increasingly emphasizes the importance of interaction for the understanding and analysis of patterns especially in complex data, e.g. [3, 4, 5]. Natural movements remove the barriers between users and abstract data. This change can not only be helpful to create more natural representations of data which, for instance, might help to interpret Big Data in a completely new manner, but it would also help to create the collection of the data in a completely new and more efficient way. Imagine an analytical analysis tool where you can drill to detail, slice and dice with both hands. Imagine building your data warehouse by dragging and dropping the tables in WhereScape RED with both hands. Imagine analysing unknown source systems by flicking with your fingers through tables and data in WhereScape 3D. Agile development and agility will get a new meaning with this new device.

It seems we can just glimpse the dawn of a new revolution in data warehousing and we at WhereScape are looking forward to bringing this future into the present.

References:

[1] https://www.leapmotion.com/

[2] https://www.leapmotion.com/product

[3] Bongshin Lee, Petra Isenberg, Nathalie Henry Riche, and Sheelagh Carpendale, “Beyond Mouse and Keyboard: Expanding Design, Considerations for Information Visualization Interactions”, http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/groups/cue/publications/TVCG2012-NaturalInfoVis.pdf

[4] Ji Soo Yi ; Youn ah Kang ; Stasko, J.T. ; Jacko, J.A., “Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Role of Interaction in Information Visualization”, Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on 13 (6), pp 1224-1231, 2007

[5] Correa, C. ; Silver, D. ; Chen, M.,” Illustrative Deformation for Data Exploration”, Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on 13 (6), pp 1320-1327, 2007

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