The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Shake, Rattle & Roll

I was recently watching an interesting TED video presented by Fabian Hemmert about “The shape-shifting future of the mobile phone” in which he advances a couple of idea about using device weight and movement to create a richer interaction and in so making digital content more intuitive for users. I believe that in the future technology will increasingly deliver devices that are adapted to humans and how our senses work, rather than the other way round.

In fact, I have often discussed the relative merits of Microsoft Windows, the Macintosh OS X and Linux operating systems; it’s an issue that IT people are very passionate about. Often, I believe they are passionate for the wrong reasons. Technically minded people prefer Linux because it is very easy to tinker with the Operating System (OS) and the OS itself is very efficient from a resource point of  view. However, my position has always been that most people want to use the device itself rather than play around with the OS.  As such, I believe that Windows and OSX are more successful because they are very easy to use. The fact that the use a lot of compute power and storage to achieve this apparent ease of use doesn’t matter to users of the device at all.  

This is illustrated by the success of the Wiimote and clearly the key virtue of the Apple iPhone and Android phones is their multi-touch interface. These all deliver a very intuitive user interface that people find very easy to use.

Why has this change come about? Essentially when IT was expensive humans had to adapt to machines, now IT is cheap we can use it to provide a richer and easier user experience. So not so much the unfriendly technological future of the Terminator movie series, instead the future will be human-friendly. Do you agree?

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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