Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Emerging HCI technologies

I find it very old fashioned and frustrating to sit down in the office every day and look into a box, whilst pressing my fingers rapidly on little pieces of plastic representing letters, and moving a small plastic box from side to side. It's not natural and can't be that healthy - ignoring the mandatory pizzas and Hobnobs consumed whilst doing so. The QWERTY keyboard was patented in 1878, and the mouse is 40 years old - so given the advancement everywhere else in technology, it's about time we got something else that beats it.

The good news is there are many exciting technologies which are either newly with us, just around the corner or have been reduced to a price which is accessible for the average user. I've been following some of them, such as embedded ViaVoice for talking to machines in a natural way, "mind reading" headsets such as the one from Emotiv aimed at gamers and due for release in December, wearable displays which allow you to augment reality with your own data - and mobile phone projectors all to be released in the next few months - as well as haptic user interfaces like this ultrasound device written about on the BBC today. I think the next few months and years will be very exciting! Just been playing with an OCZ NIA but that's a post all of it's own....


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