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Pattie Maes on Interfaces and Innovation

MIT Associate Professor Pattie Maes

MIT Associate Professor Pattie Maes

Credit: Mass High Tech

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Pattie Maes, who leads human-computer interface research at MIT's Media Lab, says in an interview that current computers and interfaces are not ideal for information access. She describes the Media Lab as an interdisciplinary center of development into new technologies designed to empower people, and notes that her work aims to develop specific products as well as inspire other people to incorporate her insights into other products.

The lab gets most of its funding from industry and involves close industry collaboration, and Maes points out that "with all the development that has happened in the last 10 to 15 years, there's new appreciation for people to see themselves as creative consumers and producers." She sees the do-it-yourself movement gaining momentum, as well as innovation in the hardware space with advancements such as the Apple iPhone and the Microsoft Surface table. "This is really the first time in 40 or 50 years that we are venturing out of the typical interface of a mouse and a keyboard and a screen," Maes observes. "It's encouraging that in the commercial area there is now some interest in thinking beyond the form factor of the typical computer." Maes sees less innovation in the software space.

From Mass High Tech
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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