How the Future of User Interface (UI) will Redefine your Life
There has always been a connection between the user and the thing in use regardless of it being simple, a mechanical handle or something with complex, digital display, in short, for every technology there’s always been an interface. And these interfaces are created with the help of user-centered designs which is currently the best practice for shaping technology to support people based on the understanding of their goals, needs, and capabilities.
In other simple words, a User Interface (UI) should be something of a conduit between human and computer interaction in order to complete certain tasks effectively. Not only that, but a successful UI is also expected to be –
- Efficient so as not to create any additional or unnecessary friction.
- Intuitive so that it doesn’t require any training to operate.
- And above all, be enjoyable to use i.e. user-friendly.
Abraham Lincoln once said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. So, what is this future the User Interface Designers are so keen on creating? Well, imagine a time when the user interfaces will be integrated into your everyday life instead of being trapped within a screen when you can hold actually hold conversations with your computer rather than poking fingers in your screen.
Can you imagine this future where user interfaces will be personalized to your needs and can appear anywhere you want? Well, these technologies are still in their developmental phases but at least we can have a look at what the future of User Interface holds for us.
Voice User Interface (VUI)
Currently, Voice Interaction is mostly used for setting appointments and browsing the internet but in the upcoming years, the adoption rate of speech recognition will be sky-high and it seems plausible as well considering the size of screens which are getting smaller day by day. Apart from this, other benefits of VUI includes,
- Drastically reduce the size of devices.
- Provide a better option for the handicapped.
- Helps in creating portable devices.
- Help those who are slow in typing.
There is no denying that ‘touch’ will continue to dominate our mobiles for a long time to come, however, interacting with our devices through voice commands will eventually overtake ‘touch’ in the long run.
Have you seen ‘Iron Man’ series or ‘Minority Report’ by Tom Cruise? Remember how both our protagonists manipulated images, videos, and datasheets just by performing various gestures through their hands? In that case, you are already well aware of what Gesture Interface is all about.
Gesture recognition is basically the practice of interpreting human gestures by computers through mathematical algorithms. Put in simple words, it helps humans to communicate with the machines via gestures that are originated from any bodily movement, most preferably with the help of face and hands.
Gesture Interface comes in two types i.e. Offline (gestures are processed after User Interaction with the object) and Online (involved in direct manipulation such as scaling or rotating a tangible object) and can be used in a number of ways from sign language recognition to affective computing to alternative computer interfaces.
VR/AR User Interface
There is certainly a lot going on in the field of Augmented and Virtual Reality based technologies, it won’t be an overstatement to claim that the next decade is going to be an exciting one for the User Interface designers. And you, in turn, shouldn’t be surprised if in a few years you come across Google Map directions projected on the roads right in front of your eyes or walking into a restaurant and seeing the menu floating in the air.
Yes, it may sound like a plot from a science fiction movie but the way these AR/VR technologies are giving rise to so many unique interactions, using our natural environment to create user interfaces with the help of projections that can be displayed on almost anything, the day is not far when these interfaces will be free from being trapped in tiny screens to take the place beside ourselves in our three-dimensional world.
Tangible User Interface (TUI)
TUI is the interaction between a person and the digital system with the help of physical objects that are directly linked to the said system. In other words, it enables the recognition of real-world objects by fusing the physical environment with the digital realm. The most common example is the mouse, yes, the one you’re currently scrolling this blog post with. Another example is Microsoft PixelSense that can identify objects on its own that is placed on its screen. Seeing this, its safe to assume that the future of TUI is bright and shining.
The more these technologies become natural and intuitive for our next generation, the better we will be treated to a more immersive computing experience. The future User Interfaces are definitely in for some overwhelming and exciting changes and it will be something worth looking forward to when some of these ground-breaking technologies hit the market.