Documenting the Coming Singularity

Friday, July 17, 2009

Can we push past the mouse and keyboard interface?

Editor's Note: Human beings are generally averse to change. We've become quite used to the keyboard and mouse, window and icon and toolbar interface with our computing machines, and it will take a fantastic new set of methods to make us choose something different. The touchscreen is only useful with handheld devices when you get right down to it. Voice recognition and motion sensing may be useful. But the real enchilada, if you ask me, is thought. Anyway, this article describes a company that wants to set up an OpenInterface project to get things moving.

ScienceDaily - July 17, 2009

Human-computer interaction is undergoing a revolution, entering a multimodal era that goes beyond, way beyond, the WIMP (Windows-Icons-Menus-Pointers) paradigm. Now European researchers have developed a platform to speed up that revolution.

We have the technology. So why is our primary human-computer interface (HCI) based on the 35-year-old Windows-Icons-Menus-Pointers paradigm? Voice, gestures, touch, haptics, force feedback and many other sensors or effectors exist that promise to simplify and simultaneously enhance human interaction with computers, but we are still stuck with some 100 or so keys, a mouse and sore wrists.

In part, the slow pace of interface development is just history repeating itself. The story of mechanical systems that worked faster than handwriting is a 150-year saga that, eventually, led to the QWERTY keyboard in the early 1870s.

In part, the problem is one of complexity. Interface systems have to adapt to human morphology and neurology and they have to do their job better than before. It can take a lot of time to figure how to improve these interfaces.

Read entire story>>

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