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Busby Berkeley invents the gesticular interface

Contrary to popular belief, Apple Computer didn’t invent gesticular interfaces. Take a look at this short clip from the Warner Bros. Vitaphone production Gold Diggers of 1935 (at the 27 minute mark of the movie). Choreographer Busby Berkeley seems to have figured out some key movements back in 1935.

In this scene, tenor Dick Powell is taking poor-little-rich-girl Gloria Stuart shopping in the basement arcade of a swanky new hotel. I apologize in advance for the quality; I simply used my camera to record my iPad in a decidedly analog fashion. (Don’t even ask why this movie is in my iPad to begin with).

Notice, too, the graphic incorporation of metadata. Each department is coupled with the name of the woman in charge. For example, in “Lingerie”, we find “Annette”. Pretty sophisticated “menu” considering that this footage predates the birth of the web by 65 years.

If you want to see the entire number, here’s a link:
Source: Old site feed