Posted by: 2stepsback | October 8, 2005

Exciting ideas in human computer interaction

The other day I read about Jef Raskin, the creator of Apple Macintosh and GUI as we know it today. I recommend reading a few things about him just to learn what genius means – he was a Da Vinci of sorts.

Also, having seen all those sci-fi movies that Hollywood comes up with showing hi-tech human-computer interaction, one feels that a lot of interesting devices will make their way into our daily lives in the coming years. I just thought of an operating system with an XBOX-based-game like look when I found Archy and Zooming User Interface(ZUI) already there.

Another few ideas that I got – you too will get several after reading about Jef and his work on Human computer interaction – are:

Voice Recognition OS:

Just imagine the following scenario: A mic will be kept attached to your collar and a switch, which is extremely convenient to press, in you hands. When you want to give commands to your computer you toggle the switch to ON and then whatever you speak is a command to your computer through the mic.

If the switch is OFF, the computer is not listening and your words are simply ignored, that way you do not have to strain your mind to always keep talking to the computer. Also, the obvious problem of voice-recognition is there.

A few years ago, IBM released ViaVoice, with which need you to read out a few thousand words before the system can start recognizing your voice correctly. I dont know if the number of words required has reduced in the later versions, but there is a more elegant solution to the problem: Everyone who wants to use VR (Voice-Recognition) based computers, will carry a huge mp3 (or some other standardized format file) with fixed standardized words, say on a CD.

Also, there is a fixed VR protocol in place which allows the target VR OS to read this file and adjust sound/VR parameters according to this CD. Then, the user can start using the computer with VR without having to say a thousand words carefully.

This can be done for every new computer he sits on, just that each such target VR computer must have the capacity to read the voice MP3s. Incidentally, XML can also be used to store this data, but it will be voluminous to say the least.

VR experts have obviously thought of these things, but its not yet implemented! The file can be called a Personal VR Key file which will be unique (with obvious limitations – two people can have similar voice) to each person.

People have to just carry their Personal VR Key files around on CD’s or USB key drives and start talking to new computers without a problem!

Command Recognition based on relative Finger position (CoReBoReFP)
Recognition of commands based on Relative Finger Position (ReCoReFP) :
This one is just a fun idea – our hearing impaired brethren already have a sign language which uses finger gestures – you can have sensors attached to the fingers of the users and based on the relative positions, understand the signs made and thereby issue commands to the computer. Then, you can imagine what power the DBA or system administrator who takes backups of GB’s of data will feel – like a true Jedi Master – taking backups of the entire database just by gesturing by hand to the system to wait – wonder what an important role karate (or martial arts in general) will play in such a scenario! 🙂

Some time back we had reports of an Isreali team trying to bring smell into computers by encoding smell content data and having smell transducers at the user’s end!

Isn’t it a field where your imaginations can really run wild?



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