Multitouch interface-free computing at TED

TED is Technology Entertainment Design. TED rocks! Here’s a 9-minute film from February this year which is very much worth watching, with Jeff Han, research scientist at NYU, demoing a very compelling, very intuitive, very dynamic new way we will be interacting with our computers.

He is, of course, showing the best demos of the stuff they have implemented first to take advantage of the new UI metaphor. It looks great, it works great – but my challenge for them and the others working in the space is to implement the most important other apps we use every day with this new metaphor. Proving if and how this can work for daily mainstream computing is how this will really take off. What’s my email client look like? How do I search and surf the web? Manage a spreadsheet? A UI change this fundamental will require some pretty fundamental shifts in our assumptions. Visualizing things differently is one of the keys – and is something this UI metaphor makes possible in ways that aren’t so possible now. Data visualization that we can easily understand and navigate to fit the app we’re using – that’s the key for a bunch of apps, like managing my (huge) email history or searching the (huger) World Wide Web’s content.

Table-top touch-driven interfaces was perhaps the most common technology presented in the Emerging Technologies room at SIGGRAPH 2006 – and this is the best film demo I’ve seen online. If you know of others, please do post a comment with a link. Most of the applications as SIGGRAPH were geo-location applications – which is one of those he shows in this film.

TED just made my blogroll. šŸ™‚

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