Mobile phones are cool right? I mean you get the power of a desktop in your hand! What an amazing leap forward it’s been for online interaction across the globe. But we’re not stopping at simply making computers smaller… I want to take a moment and take a look at some really neat interfacing techniques that currently exist and get an idea where we are going with our computing technology
So touch screens are neat, but what if you didn’t even have to touch the screen! I’ve seen some really neat technology make it’s way into production recently and and worth taking note. One of my favorites come in the form of Leap Motion! You can buy a sensor that basically tracks the motion of your hand in relation to the sensor and by pointing, grabbing, waving and any other hang motion you can interact with your desktop or any of the applications developed in their Airspace app store. It can track both hands as well as each of your fingers individually. Now admittedly this technology could almost be considered “beta” as its effectiveness varies depending on environmental factors surrounding the sensor, and its not quite precise, but it does give a functional and really amazing “leap” into user interaction.
And while we are talking about touch-less interaction, I can’t fail to recognize Google Glass for its really unique approach in creating what we have all dreamt of since we were kids. Since the interface itself is a mini-computer built into to a pair of futuristic looking glasses, your vision (in part) becomes a stylish interface that you control mainly with your speech. This kind of technology might have leveled the playing field for Arnold Schwarzenegger in his epic battle against Predator whose “unique” vision proved quite useful in tracking down Arnold and his pals. While Google admits this technology is defiantly still beta, it rightly takes pride in utilizing speech as such a powerful navigational element.
While we are talking voice recognition software, I want to give a quick shout-out to Dragon Speech and Swype by Nuance for their innovative digital interaction with type. Their speech-to-text software has been an industry leader for years and Swype’s intuitive typing-by-dragging technology has been revolutionary in speed typing.
Touch… But Cooler
That all being said, I have to say touch screen interfaces still prove the most useful and practical for day to day interactions. That doesn’t mean the interactions have to be expected though… enter digital watches, coffee table touch screens, and tablet based remote controls. Incorporating touch interfaces in our day to day interactions is an exciting precedent. Imagine controlling the utilities in your house, sound system, TV, lights, fans, curtains and just about anything else via centralized remote controls. Just about any digital interface now has the capabilities of becoming a hub for maintaining your living situation. At the very simplistic level, android apps such as Able Remote help turn your TV into a media center. Lightswtich and WeMo allows you to control the lights in your home from remote locations.
This is just some cool stuff I’ve been considering recently and wanted to share. I admit I’ve only touched the surface of some of the “what’s hot” in the marketplace but hopefully it’s enough to get you exited to see what’s next. Have any ideas or thoughts or have you seen anything cool? Feel free to comment below.