Rus Articles Journal

What will be the user interface of the future? To Watch

in the monitor, to move a mouse yes to knock on the keyboard - here destiny of the user of the computer? No, the multi-touch - a way of management of information on the screen by means of the movement of fingers gradually enters life.

There are applications of augmented reality more and more: imposing on the image of the real place of a photo of the street, building, additional information. For example, you point the camera of the smartphone at a show-window of shop, and on the screen the list of all its actions and discounts appears.

In May of this year in one of the Moscow shopping centers even established a virtual fitting room. You approach, you click a finger - and on you already new suit. Let it was the experiment directed to working off of technology, but it already something!

Children, to be exact gamers of all age, are lucky more than others. They already have Wiimote for the Wii console allowing to operate objects of game by means of the movement of hands in space. Microsoft offers fans of the XBox video game console the Kinect controller (in a virtual fitting room it was used too). This device goes even further - game begins to react to your voice, poses or the shown images.

The same enclosed Microsoft in Surface much - a table with the multiuser touch screen. There was a lot of presentation noise, but something there with this table was not taken. Perhaps, because that Apple managed to propose several available user solutions constructed on the multi-touch - iPhone, iPod and iPad. As tablets surely turn into the corporate standard, to overpay for a bulky box there is no need any more.

But, perhaps, the leader in development of the virtual interface of the future is the Oblong Industries company. In 2008 the project G - speak - a control system of gestures for collaboration over the document or the presentation was submitted. Then developers declared that it is the most important technological break in the history of computer interfaces since 1984. G-speak, as envisioned by creators, will be useful in logistics, military simulators and - oil industry workers, attention! - oil-extracting industry. I will note that in the section of “the decision for clients“ on the website of the company it is still empty. Nobody hurries to try an innovation.

But the company was not satisfied with what has already been achieved and literally Mezzanin - a new flagman product the other day presented (from the Italian mezzanine, “superstructure“, the term from area of architecture). In Russian the word is written “attic“, but time in this case this proper name, but not the architectural term, I keep the original name with the letter “and“ and two “ç“.

Mezzanin represents a spatial operational environment which is intended for use in a conference - halls and on other big platforms. The kernel of system consists of three big screens - such triptych. On each side from a triptych two more vertically - standing the screen and a white board (whiteboard) on a wall at the left. The term whiteboarding has no close translation into Russian. Here a conclusion to a white board of information (drawings, texts, images) for collaboration is meant. Two chambers are located so that one is directed to a board, and the second to people in the hall. And there is an opportunity to work in several rooms.

Let`s say you work on the project of the new building. Architects, sitting at the office, click on the smartphone the sketch and send it to you on the screen. You can add images with explanatory inscriptions at once - to add, for example, the cost of separate blocks of a construction or the list of the materials necessary for construction. And to show to the customer.

It will be absolutely simple to imagine new technology if to watch the movie “Dissenting opinion“ in which Tom Cruise`s hero puts on gloves, rises in front of screens and begins to swing hands, operating the arriving information. If the movie was not shot on Philip Dick`s work, it would be possible to think that “Dissenting opinion“ is promorolik Mezzanina! The conductor - here the suitable word for the user of the new interface. There will be many only such conductors.

However, difference from a film image is. Instead of gloves developers suggest to wave magic “sticks“ (sticks). Not to produce essence, we will designate “stick“ as the panel. Here at once articles mentioned in the beginning joysticks for the game console Wii and the Kinect technology from Microsoft occur. Mezzanin`s developers agree that similarity is, but at the same time between game joysticks and Mezzanin`s panels there is a huge difference. In - the first, it is perception accuracy - it 10 times more. In - the second, a huge variety of actions which the panel from Oblong allows to execute. Using controllers, any user can make changes to data, add new data, emphasize important for himself and put it in turn of discussion.

Panels have three sides, and the touch to each side models various actions. For example, one party allows to take data, and another to operate the taken information. Having directed the panel up it is possible to turn it into a certain lever to move information blocks on the screen. Imagine the symphony where instead of music information which everyone who to be in the room can operate. You at the same time both the musician and the conductor, at the same time wave a stick together with all. But whether there will be no cacophony instead of a melody? Remembering Google Wave failure where information turned into chaos, we will hope that at Oblong everything is thought over better.

Why panels are necessary, and our hands do not approach? Technology per se exists and allows to manage hands, but matter in the price - is very expensive. Also special gloves will be anyway necessary. It is cheaper to make sticks - panels.

The main idea of Mezzanin - to bring together people in the room and to allow them to work in common with each other and, for example, with the speaker. The system will interact with any device in an action radius - the tablet, phone, the laptop.

Here and one more reason of failure of Microsoft with its table - is simpler to equip a conference - the hall with rather advanced platform, and users will interact with it by means of own devices. Thus, the main objective of the new interface - to completely change collective work. You just cease to observe and begin to interact. Important part of a platform is the possibility of development of proprietary applications - there are SDK and a development environment.

In conclusion I will note that you can use some user decisions of Mezzanin or even you use already today, and it is free. For example, collaboration over documents in Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365 (distribution of licenses began). Managements of gestures and voice in not the most popular, but in the most advanced Opera browser. Gestures, of course, are started on “mouse“, but it already which - that! Besides the multi-touch - both on touchpads of laptops, and on touch screens of monoblocks and tablets. As a result we can collect a certain prototype of the future at ourselves the house again: the computer with the touch screen, Opera as a working environment and Google Docs as the instrument of work on information. No, it is far from Mezzanin, but free of charge and already now!

Creators of a platform, pointing out difference of the child from the existing decisions, nevertheless approvingly treat wireless joysticks in video game consoles or to management of voice. “It will help people to get used to our interface“, - developers say.