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The Age of the Interface

touch interface

Credit: Futurist

The term "interface" encompasses a link between systems, equipment, or people, and it can be applied to virtually any engagement between humans and machines. The advent of the natural user interface will facilitate control with much greater intuitiveness derived from natural actions and behaviors. Improved integration between the human body and electronic devices should usher in the age of the organic user interface, whose potential implementations include biometric sensors, displays projected onto the user's skin, and eventually brain-computer interfaces. Among the possible functions such interfaces could help enable are vehicle control, emergency services dispatch, augmented reality, global disease monitoring, architectural design, telemedicine, and traffic flow modeling.

One potential element of future interfaces is eye tracking, which in passive applications can be employed for advertising and marketing feedback, collecting useful data about where a user's gaze is directed. In the most interactive application of the technology, eye tracking is already letting quadriplegics interface directly with computers, choosing letters and commands by fixing their gaze on the appropriate region of the screen. This form of interaction also might provide an outstanding input control mechanism for wearable computers.

From Futurist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA



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