“As it happens, designing Future Interfaces For The Future used to be my line of work,” Bret Victor blogs. “I had the opportunity to design with real working prototypes, not green screens and After Effects, so there certainly are some interactions in the [Microsoft visions of the future] video (below) which I’m a little skeptical of, given that I’ve actually tried them and the animators presumably haven’t. But that’s not my problem with the video.
“My problem is the opposite, really — this vision, from an interaction perspective, is not visionary,” Victor writes. “It’s a timid increment from the status quo, and the status quo, from an interaction perspective, is actually rather terrible.”
“This matters, because visions matter. Visions give people a direction and inspire people to act, and a group of inspired people is the most powerful force in the world,” Victor writes. “If you’re a young person setting off to realize a vision, or an old person setting off to fund one, I really want it to be something worthwhile. Something that genuinely improves how we interact.”
Victor writes, “This little rant isn’t going to lay out any grand vision or anything. I just hope to suggest some places to look.”
“Now, take out your favorite Magical And Revolutionary Technology Device [iPad]. Use it for a bit,” Victor writes. “What did you feel? Did it feel glassy? Did it have no connection whatsoever with the task you were performing?”
“I call this technology Pictures Under Glass. Pictures Under Glass sacrifice all the tactile richness of working with our hands, offering instead a hokey visual facade,” Victor writes. “Pictures Under Glass is an interaction paradigm of permanent numbness. It’s a Novocaine drip to the wrist. It denies our hands what they do best. And yet, it’s the star player in every Vision Of The Future.”
Victor writes, “To me, claiming that Pictures Under Glass is the future of interaction is like claiming that black-and-white is the future of photography. It’s obviously a transitional technology. And the sooner we transition, the better.”
Tons more – very highly recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Note: Bret Victor held the position of Human-Interface Inventor with a little company called Apple Inc. from August 2007 to- November 2010.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]