Set in 2054, "Minority Report" revealed a future in which natural user interfaces play a major role. A memorable scene features Tom Cruise controlling a large interactive screen with illuminated gloves, gesturing back and forth to navigate through an NUI.
Less than a decade after the movie hit theaters, we now have Microsoft's $150 Kinect accessory for Xbox 360, which provides a similar experience to the one seen in the movie--without requiring special gloves or a multimillion dollar computer setup.
People have primarily used a mouse and keyboard to interact with computers for decades; this seems silly considering that nearly every other computer component has evolved significantly in the same time frame. Now that the Kinect SDK is available for Windows 7, natural user interfaces have more opportunity than ever to change how we interact with computers.
Supportive technology such as speech recognition (which has already matured greatly, as this week's launch of Google Voice Search for desktop computers highlighted), Microsoft Surface, and 3D Immersive Touch are all stepping stones to something far greater in the evolution of computer interaction. It's inevitable that years from now, aspects of these technologies will work together to free us from pressing keys and clicking buttons.
So, what do you think the most exciting possibilities for natural user interfaces are? Vote in our weekly poll. And please be sure to elaborate in the comments section.… Read more