Inventing the Future: Everything Old is New Again (iPhone 6S edition)

I’ve been really excited to see new innovations in interaction with phone, mobile device and wearable interfaces lately. Some of these innovations are doubly exciting…. because I helped invent them, seven years ago, and these new ways of interacting with data and with devices are only now coming to the mass market. For example, it was fascinating to have Walt Mossberg trumpet the praises of the iPhone 6S this week at Apple’s launch event. Here’s what Mossberg said: Anyone who thought there was no more fundamental innovation to be wrung out of the smartphone is just wrong. The 10-finger multi-touch interface made mainstream by the iPhone 8 years ago has now taken a leap forward with Apple’s 3D Touch. This lets you view content in apps...

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Future of Technology: The Ned View

I recently gave an interview to a pair of researchers about what I thought was coming in future technology. Apparently, I said some useful things, so I got a transcript, and here it is!  Thanks to many for re-posting! 1. INVISIBLE A couple things I think are essential about technology. Really good technology should be mostly invisible to the user. Technology in general should be something that lets people get to their goal or their task focus. Without being in the way. It should be a layer that almost does not exist. So if you think about clothing for example, clothing can move smoothly and quickly rather than clothing that restrains and constricts you. The goal of good software is to enable you to move faster, not slow you down. For example, a touch screen gets...

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Beyond Microsoft: Chapter 5

Chapter 5: The Invisible Interface “[I]increasingly rapid technological changes are likely to significantly change user interfaces. We are at the dawn of an era where user interfaces are about to break out of the ‘desktop’ box…” – “Past, Present and Future of User Interface Software Tools” September 15, 1999 Brad Myers, Scott E. Hudson, and Randy Pausch / Carnegie Mellon University The iPod Secret Five years ago, I walked into a small Silicon Valley room to meet a tiny interface company called “Pixo.” I was there with a team of Adobe senior scientists to present our vision of the future. We hoped that Pixo might be able to help us achieve that dream. Yet as our Adobe engineers described the coming wave of mobile devices and multimedia players, there were sideways...

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Glasses as the Ultimate Interface

Brain interface glasses! I have to admit this has been my ultimate dream, for a long time. In fact, I even wrote a chapter in my technology book about “invisible” or nearly invisible interfaces as the wave of the future. In February 2008, there’s finally a high-fidelity brain to computer interface — they even have an acronym (BCI)! As the article on GizMag points out, we may think we’ve come a long way, but the keyboard and mouse remain the predominant way we interface with computers. We’ve had the unfulfilled promise of handwriting and voice recognition and hope that something better will come along sooner or later. Perhaps this is it – brain computer interface technology pioneer Emotiv Systems will have its EPOC neuroheadset...

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Multi-Modal Computing – What it could mean

Multi-Modal world, as envisioned, back in the day at Adobe. In 1998, there were research groups looking at multi-modality, and by 2000, folks involved in standards creation were already thinking about multi-modal inputs. Today, Google has a group devoted to multi-modal inputs, although the Wiki is a little bare. New stuff over at IBM on this topic. CTG (from whom I borrowed the accompanying graphic to this post), specializes in multi-modal input computing.   facial expression and gesture inputs Now that we have finger inputs, what about facial expressions? My wife said I was “smug” the other day. How did she read that expression? Could a computer read such a subtle expression? Or just sadness vs. smiling (small children find it difficult to tell...

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