the future of user experience

the world of design and user experience (UX) is shifting along with the world of mobile applications and TV.

in the beginning we had a punch card 🙂 yes, one of those old funky and full of holes punch card. that was the way information was conveyed to the computer. the design drastically evolved to the terminal and what a revolution that was. finally was can SEE what the computer can and we can layer it up with tools. like the command line. quickly the operating system that quickly evolved allowed applications like the terminal to browse files (ls -l anyone?) and much more.

it was apple that came up with the next best thing (they tend to do that…) when they came up with a graphical user interface (GUI) and the windows system, which bill gates and microsoft copied shamelessly (or at least that what is written). that part of history probably most of you can remember. widows 3.11 rocked big time and with the shift of personal computer and IBM we all got to experience the bliss for the low cost required to allow massive growth. apple came out with yet another cool idea – the mouse: a way for us to interact with the screen and the content presented on it. no more keyboard commands that were reserved for the dorky nerdy geeky ones. now we can all interact with the computer in a fashionable way – an extension of our arm that seeps into the computer.

this was huge – and with the availability of an SDK to program applications, every tom, dick and harry were hard at work decoding the win32 API and developing lots and lots of apps for the masses. from music applications to games and file editors. the rest is history my friends.

until the iphone came along and introduced the multi touch to the world. granted – they were not the first to do so, but they were the ones to implement it in a natural way (and i am using the word natural for a reason here…) that we can all interact with. no more mouse ladies and gents. no more a device that will click on the data and we circle it around the screen to get where we want to and interact with it via one/two or 3 buttons.

this new user experience is called “natural user interface” which basically means the content which we see IS the interface. think about it for a second: on your iphone/ipad/android – the photo application you use… you touch the photo, swipe it around, left or right, up or down. double tap it, pinch and rotate and more. the content IS the interface and the experience becomes a better personal experience.

which brings us to the title of this post – the future 🙂 the future is already here and it is called “first person interface”. in a first person interface the INPUT is based on WHERE you are and WHAT and WHO is NEAR you. this is so important to understand – it begs repetition: i “first person interface” the input is based on where you are and what and who is near you.

let’s take an example: take layer. when you launch the app on your mobile device it knows where you, and by capturing the environment with the camera it layers information to your choice onto the screen. pretty sweet 🙂 and there are other great players in that evolving market so check out this list for the iphone.

the new mobile devices (slate and phones) allows access to the following information:
1. location (GPS/WiFi/Cell tower)
2. orientation (compass)
3. position and motion (accelerometer)
4. audio (microphone/speakers)
5. device to device (bluetooth)
6. multitouch (up to 10 simultaneous ones for the iphone OS)
7. push notification (for apple devices)

so to sum it up – the new user experience is the “first person interface” where we navigate the space around us by using our mobile devices, the application augments the reality by layering the real world with data, and we interact with nearby objects (museums, coffee shops etc) and people (twitter friends, family, etc)

more exciting ways to experience the world and interact with it are coming our way, so i’ll wrap it up with a video.

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