The next evolution of user interfaces

“With the introduction of the iPhone, Apple introduced the touch UI and literally changed the way people interact with their smartphones. When they extended the touch UI to the iPad, it set in motion an industry stampede to create PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones with touch based interfaces,” Tim Bajarin writes for TechPinions. “In the world of technology, this was a real milestone. For decades the way we navigated through our PCs was through a keyboard, mouse or Trackpad. While Apple was not the first to bring touch to tablets or smartphones, they clearly get credit for commercializing it and making it the defacto standard for next generation user interfaces.”

“But there were two products released recently that I have tested that I believe gives us an early glimpse at the next evolution of user interfaces,” Bajarin writes. “These, perhaps, will be just as ground breaking as the graphical user interface and touch UIs in the market today.”

Bajarin writes, “The reality is that Apple, Microsoft, Intel and others are all working on gesture based UI technology and believe that gestures represent the next significant evolution in computing interfaces… While many had hoped voice would be the next big thing in user interfaces, there is still a lot of work in this space to be done to bring it into mainstream computing. I have no doubt that voice commands, such as the one HAL used in 2001: A Space Odyssey will eventually be the main way we interact with computers. However, for now, the next evolution will be gesture based.”

Read more in the full article here.

47 Comments

        1. Yeah, well, keep in mind that all we humans ride the waves of our induced emotions and have to live within the limitations of our bodies, minds, spirits. Therefore, we’re perceiving ourselves through limited means. Then toss on top of that all our experiences, our ‘environment’ effects, like all the trolling and propaganda around this place. That makes it very difficult to think clearly even with a decent brain in our heads.

          1. if you wish top regard us humans this way – ok then.
            for the meantime, let me suggest you try Buddhism entangled with quantum physics – you will discover those limitations more open…

            Your Ghost Busing style Anti-Trolling security measures are waisted efforts. You can’t fathom what you are dealing with. Not me nor the environment you placed yourself in. The exponential possibilities of choice and the path they could lead – just aren’t exciting enough to bother with. Get your kicks on route 66-6.

            MDN offers a place to state ones opinion freely. Its amazing that people get alone as good as they do… after all, its hard enough for even a loving couple to agree on anything these days.

            Interestingly, your profile describes the likes of a troll to a “tee”. I guess it takes a thief to catch a thief. Or, in your case, a “positive anarchist”. – lol.

            Lets put on our propeller thinking caps on and just imagine what a wonderful world Apple can make it be. No joke. I am so pro Apple yet you decided “you chose” to judge me as a troll. You have no power over me.

            You are a good man Derek… leave a mark – put a dent in the universe – make it a positive one… there is no reward in Stomping on who you think is a “Troll” – unless – afterwards you realize your mistake, apologize, correct your misjudgement and learn from the experience.

            Last words, there are no good nor bad choices for anyone… its what you do afterwards to stay on the straighter path. Only your experiences are yours… choice is such a vague portion of the equation of life.

            Carry on Sir Derek.

            1. Hurray, wait – uhmmm, i’m dumbfounded,

              Pleasantly pleased? Over all?
              Or just that your profile casts you in similar light of
              a rebel trollie?

            2. At the risk of being redundant, I have been making it clear lately, as a sort of gift to the guilty, that my approach is to troll the trolls, with all the ramifications that brings to mind. It is in fact my theory that trolls desire to be trolled back. They make the effort of making other people miserable in the hopes that those people will in turn make them miserable as well. It is a form of masochism.

              Therefore, my efforts in troll trampling can be seen as either a form of wish granting toward the trolls, or as a form of reciprocity for the wonderful service trolls freely offer to we Apple fanatics.

              I am of course being sarcastic, just to make that clear.

            3. cheer Derek – i think you are worthy and as stated long before under another alias – yes you are a welcoming addition to MDN

              peace and keep up the sarcasm – better – keep up the positive influencing and positive Mac spirit – educating others : )

    1. whats the difference between a gesture UI and multi-touch UI?

      Apple commercialized both already with pinch to zoom, three finger swipe to read a paragraph etc. — gestural inputs are in effect, due to multi-touch… hence we have already arrived at the evolutionary experience this author is claims to come. Hello.

        1. For me, a three finger swipe upwards on the glass surface of an iPad is considered a gesture. A two finger pinch to resize is also a gesture. Gestures include touching.

          A motion tracking sensored camera – watching how I blink or move my head – can also be programmed to be a gesture…

          so what exactly is the authour referring to?

            1. Dude sometimes I have read comments where you are having discussions with yourself – classic

              yeah – it beats agitating others – why bother anyone when you can play alone – doinkers!!!!

  1. The next Evolution of user interfaces will be the faces of the users!
    Eye tracking, voice activated, fingerprint security and facial proximity to the device.
    A combination of any or some of those four outlined activities will preset the device to the relevant mode, thus achieving synchronous interaction with the devise.

    1. Maybe, as you say… it sure is intriguing, however, voice has a real potential in automative vehicles (thats a billion dollar market if done right) look out OnStar your services are about to be challenged. As I remain confident that Apple is right again with Siri. We have only started to see and hear about Siri’s penetration into this market and so far – its been a positive one.

  2. My main issue with voice: Getting everyone else nearby to shut up so you can communicate with your device.

    I’m sure there might be ways to overcome this, but I really think our fingers are just as fast as our voices in a lot of tasks and the ability work quietly and basically anonymously is nice, too. For these reasons, I find voice to be a cool and perhaps useful tool for software interface but I find it hard to believe it will ever be the dominant form.

    1. IMHO with time we’ll get better directional/noise reducing mics being default hardware. I also expect that what we loosely call ‘artificial intelligence’ will be able to pick up on specific voice characteristics and better follow specific users, ignoring everyone else in a noisy room. In the meantime, the best idea is to get to a quiet place for voice control. Stick to manual digital input otherwise.

      I have a few voice options on my iOS device and they work fine. But I too find just typing out commands is more efficient.

          1. ahhh consistency in design… Derek I happen to be an industrial designer, however, I am of the opinion that Jony Ives is not as constant as Jobs seemed to be… perhaps the truth is.. it was Jobs who skewed the reverse on Ives – toying with his designs – requesting and leading to inconsistencies over aesthetically pleasing… nevertheless Apple strives for perfection – regarding consistency – but never is perfect.

            Still – its the perfect platform for me. Just because I am a huge fan of Apple since 1980 – doesn’t mean I have to love everything Apple does. Its a company. Its business. Life is far too short to blind yourself with Apples perfection… finding flaws and stating opinions in Apple strives to benefit them to correct that. Not be looked upon as a Trollie Pooh.

            As for the mic… yeah sure… put in a suggestion… haha I was stating abstractly, that your opinion was right and agreeable.

            1. What I wrote was a total joke directed at a troll. But let me read your post…

              Life is far too short to blind yourself with Apples perfection…

              Indeed. Instead I enjoy tossing in useful information, teach, laughter and sarcasm.

              haha I was stating abstractly, that your opinion was right and agreeable.

              AH! Around here ‘right’ usually means a direction on the 1 dimensional political scale! So I pulled a pun on it. Thank you for a nice complement. I don’t aim to be ‘right’ but I do aim to catalyze thinking. I thrive on diversity.

            2. the pun was pulled on you dude
              i am 10 steps and one day ahead of you…

              right was not intended as direction – I abstractly diversified my meaning cleverly for the sense of being correct – in agreeing with you — pivoted — lead you to think of a direction – yet, as in politics, left or right are merely sides not literal to directions.

              you Derek are the troll – a troll above all trolls
              your hopes are to distract others by pointing fingers – passing judgements onto those you feel are trolls

              what constitutes for being a Troll ?
              to comment against or disagree with Apple?
              Oh, man you got lots to learn.

              Anyone having the choice – or has a differentiating opinion from the norm – to not favouring Apple – is a Troll?

              Derek, Think Different young Skywalker… the farce is on you

            3. No Derek, you are not a trolls troll. You only wish others to agree that you are this security measure – self appointed justice system – to fend off comments you disagree with. Yet, during your attempts to be the “anti-troll” you result in nothing but becoming the troll. You jump to this self righteous believe that others CAN NOT have opinions. And you decide that their opinion is worthless. Yes, in deed there is much here off topic. More than 90% by-pass the article and love to razz and joke or be sarcastic, nevertheless, you admittedly claim you are the trolls troll. You enjoy it. It does nothing positive on MDN. And therefore making you, simply, a troll.

              Comprende?

              As a clever man… you must see this. Your choice to diversify and punish those you feel are trolls is not justice to anyone else here but your own selfish need to catalyze not thinking but to cause further spread of off topic replies and worthless comments.

              By Choice, you disrupt abruptly whom you believe is wronged your views. The, “Positive Anarchist” you believe in benefits no one but you. Accusing others with opinions that do not suite or agree with your own attacking them at an emotional or personal level – rather than – the view they posted. You must stop this addiction, you are not appointed to police trolls.

              “In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.” – wiki

              Simply fallow your own comments – you at times, promote positively Apple ideas “hurray thx” – yet many other times you, jump to the conclusion that a post/person is a liar, a troll, or dissing them in any way you see fit. (MIKE) is one example… labelling him a liar or troll without intelligently even attempting verbalize some middle ground. Yeah, you can classify yourself a troll who thinks he is the ‘Dudley do-right” of MDN. You by your own definition and the definition of wiki – you are nothing above a troll.

              SOLUTION:

              If you truly wish to do good and be positive – better ignore or attempt to understand others for a common area to agree . Being the highly educated being you feel you are – you should easily see all things and be all understanding. Yet your juvenile / immature nature – isn’t about thriving on diversity its your own please to be a disturbance. A troll is a troll Derek. Not a trolls troll. Two wrongs do not make a right. And most times you start it. Simply because you do not agree. So step down from your self appointed position – and offer to MDN the positive worth you also are know for.

  3. There have been 4 computing UI’s: command line, mouse-based, touch, and voice. Steve Jobs made 3 of these mainstream (albeit, admittedly, voice has a way to go). Who wants to bet that when Apple comes out with a 3-D gesture-based UI, Steve Jobs’ name will be all over the patents?

    1. not 3D but AR enhanced with gestural and voice commands shall be the next UI. Call it AH, “Augmented Humans”. Our world is 3D already, mapping and projecting – interacting with the two realities (computer world and the physical one) to improve and better understand work flows – to educate and embrace knowledge faster.

      Imagine fixing your cars engine – you are not a mechanic… yet through “AH UI”, Apples’ smart camera – projects and highlights parts of the car enabling you a walk through by visually coding the problems and how to actually service your vehicle — though you never attempted it before. The power of knowledge simplified and empowering people in the physical world.

      http://augmentedworldexpo.com

      http://www.galileo-masters.eu/index.php?kat=special-prizes.html&anzeige=metaio.php

      http://www.metaio.com/software/mobile-sdk/

  4. Screw voice control in crowded or otherwise quiet environments.

    Apple knows this well.

    Gestures can be used unobtrusively. It is obvious that it will be possible for a user to generate his own “custom gesture” for a specific task or set of tasks.

    If power up your device, maybe a gesture automatically uploads all new email as an example.

  5. Imagine the office of the future: A room full of cubicles, with the employees operating their computers with a loud babble of voices and what looks like modern dance.

    There is no need to retire older UI methods just because they are five minutes old. Good ideas last a long time. Wheels have been round for a very long time, but making them square doesn’t improve them. Give me a song-and-dance UI for my computer, but some things are more easily done with a mouse and keyboard.

    1. I’m glad to see you’ve never worked in a call center Ken. But I can point out from my experience that there are ways to minimize the crosstalk noise so that it isn’t a problem.

      I once ran into one silly person’s (read: marketing moron’s) idea of having everyone sit in one big room without audio blocking dividers between talking reps. It was a total FAIL and died off rapidly in favor of sound dampening cubicles.

  6. The next UI is AH. Not a 3D UI – a mapping UI overlaying our physical world.

    AH – the “Augmented Human in the physical world” – enhancing knowledge and empowering you to do things you never though of trying… suddenly you are capable of servicing your vehicle without a mechanics background.

    http://www.metaio.com

  7. Voice is a sequential interaction method with indirect access to the objects and actions. Similar to command lines in the old DOS times.

    In the majority of scenarios, the eye and the hand will always be much faster and broader organs to interact with a computer. The eyes can grasp a great number of objects at once and the hand can designate and act upon them directly. They are also much less impacted by ambient interference (noise, wind, etc.)

    Your ears and mouth need to listen/speak complete and unambiguous descriptions of objects and actions to interact. This is a lot slower. And, given that most people can’t put 3 words in order to form an clear sentence, voice interfaces are not going to become the main interaction method any time soon. (direct mind links are more likely to happen before that).

  8. Hasn’t anyone preordered a Leap Motion yet?
    https://www.leapmotion.com
    That’s the difference between gestural and multi-touch. Watch the product demo — the control is very precise. Compare it to the status of the technology just two years ago (as demonstrated at TED) and you’ll be doubly amazed.

    1. Very sweet demo. I saw this a year ago or so.
      Looks to be improving.

      gestures are gestures – be it touched or motioned
      – again what exactly was the author hinting towards

      Leap uses a motion capture sensory to track the hand(s) movement – then decodes and selects from it’s data base of matching gesture commands to interact with an existing UI.
      Here seen, running Mac OSX, Leap is an add-on UI application… not a OS native UI. Yet working extremely nice.

      If Samsung was an innovator… they would have totally avoided touch screen… and gone for a smart camera that tracks motion.
      Leap Motion on a phone… cool. But instead, they just copied Apple – because Android copied Apple iOS.

      Is this the reason Apple has not fallowed the Multi-Touch PC laptop market flood of failures? Because Leap – takes things further. Leap UI on your iTV. No need for that bluetooth keyboard – just motion gesture typing fingers and a keyboard appears – and enter your text.

      Will Leap be apart of OS11? Sure would be sweet.
      Will Apple buy Leap Motion? Hope so.

      Are those Jony Ives new Flat Graphic Icons…? Ahh, perhaps inspired. Lol
      https://www.leapmotion.com/apps

      The website is rather Apple inspired – clean white space…

      pre-ordering still – hey whats with that… saw this long ago

    2. Exciting and wonderful suggestion “mikepl”

      Thanks to express and re-introduce the Leap – i’m Pumped.
      Yes, Apple could take this and own it.

      Imagine every Mac laptop LOSING the old track pad; and in its place this Leap Motion device? Possibly no keyboard also.

      Wonder if iPad and iPhone could take advantage of this as well.

      David Holz & Michael Buckwald join the staff at Apple, June 10th, 2013. Leap is integrated into OS11 – Apple ignites the motion capture UI.

      —-

      Kinect added to xBox on November 4, 2010.

      “Kinect for Xbox 360 is changing the game. Well, it’s changing how you play games. And how you watch TV. And movies. And listen to music. Because with Kinect, there are no controllers. Or remotes. There’s just you. And if you ask us, that’s all you need.”

      No – Apple will by purchasing Leap Motions.

      1. Thank you ‘Primesense’ and ‘Rare’… Leap offers to compete.

        To say Microsoft doesn’t innovate – uhmmmm:

        the Kinect device, provides full-body motion capture, facial recognition and voice recognition in one. The Kinect microphone handles acoustic source localization and ambient noise suppression.

        Apple could benefit from this, don’t you think Derek Currie?

        Hope making that comment – suggesting Apple in negative light – not having anything like Kinect – doesn’t make me a Trollie Pooh.

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