30 July 2007

Bill Gates on natural user interfaces

Be the first to share

Bill Gates
In an article in today’s New York Times about how Bill Gates is planning his leave from Microsoft to devote himself to his $33 billion foundation, a great deal of attention goes to Gates’ decade-long agenda for the company.

According to the article, Gates described at the company’s annual financial meeting last week “a world in which the widespread availability of broadband networks would reshape computing, giving rise to what he said would be “natural user interfaces” like pen, voice and touch, replacing many functions of keyboards and mice.”

“Ubiquitous broadband networks and high speed wireless networks have for the first time given rise to meaningful alternatives to bulky and costly personal computers. In their place are a proliferating collection of smart connected devices that are tied together by a vast array of Internet-based information services based in centralized data centers.

The industry is rushing to “software as a service” models ranging from Salesforce.com, a San Francisco company that sells business contact software delivered via Web browsers, to Apple’s iPhone, which is designed as a classic “thin client,” a computer that requires the Internet for many of its capabilities.

It is a vision that Microsoft itself has at least partially embraced. Microsoft, in contrast, is calling its strategy “software plus services,” an approach that is intended to protect the company’s existing installed base.

During the interview, all three executives indicated that Microsoft is now moving quickly to offer new Internet services for personal computer users. Centralized data storage will make it possible for PC users to gain access to most or all of their information from all of the different types of computers they use, whether they are desktops, laptops or smartphones, and wherever they are located.”

The article raises more questions than providing answers, leaving in the middle how such interfaces could become “natural”, what it might mean for people to have all this information always available (the issue of “presence” comes to mind), and how to make that experience seamless across devices.

So I tried finding out something more about the Microsoft thinking on natural user interfaces (aside from the recently launched Surface, that is), but couldn’t yet find that much. Here is a quote from a review of the Gates presentation at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC 2007): “He also talked about ‘natural user interface’ talking about how important he thinks touch, pen, and voice input will be in the future. In particularly, he singled out work on Chinese and Japanese pen input. He talked about new form factors (some of which will be driven by the new user interfaces); and talked about unified communications, where the ‘phone is going to be the PC and the PC is going to be the phone.'”

Read full story

Be the first to share
30 January 2016
[Book] Asian Perspectives on Digital Culture
Asian Perspectives on Digital Culture: Emerging Phenomena, Enduring Concepts Edited by Sun Sun Lim, Cheryll Soriano Routledge, 2016 214 pages Abstract In Asia, amidst its varied levels of economic development and diverse cultural traditions and political regimes, the Internet and …
29 January 2016
[Report] Consumers more frustrated by smart home apps than devices
New report by Argus Insights suggests disappointing apps break user experience, may cause decline in consumer delight over time. The Smart Home ecosystem comprises both hardware devices and software apps and together they are supposed to …
28 January 2016
The Power of Privacy – documentary film
In this half-hour film (commissioned by The Guardian and Silent Circle), Aleks Krotoski travels the world to undergo challenges that explore our digital life in the 21st century. Watch her be stalked and hacked, fight to …
27 January 2016
Human-machine interactions and the coming age of autonomy
Melissa Cefkin is a Principal Scientist & Design Anthropologist at Nissan Research in Silicon Valley where she explores the potential of having autonomous vehicles as interactive agents in the world. In an article that was published …
27 January 2016
Remaking Ford into a user experience-driven company
Ford CEO Mark Fields recently declared that Ford would be remade as a user-experience driven company: "We have obviously a lot experience in the car business, over 113 years, and our differentiation is going to be …
27 January 2016
The privatization of human rights: illusions of consent, automation and neutrality
The privatization of human rights: illusions of consent, automation and neutrality by Emily Taylor Published by the Centre for International Governance Innovation and Chatham House 2016 The Internet enables the free flow of information on an unprecedented scale …
26 January 2016
Designing for Crisis, Design for Real Life
It’s easy to design for the idealized user, someone who’s smart, calm, and informed. It’s less easy, and thus more important, to design for a more realistic user: still smart, but harried and uncertain. The …
22 January 2016
Creating age-friendly cities
In a new report the McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute (MHFI) argues that we need a new thinking about how to create "age-friendly cities." Adapting to the challenges of an aging urban population, they write, requires …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

18 January 2016
Experientia website completely reshaped

Experientia is pleased to announce that we’ve started 2016 with a brand new website. Experientia’s now officially 10 years old, and we decided that the best way to celebrate is by building a new website that showcases our growth – with new projects, new people in the staff, and two new locations in Lausanne and […]

1 January 2016
For when things get personal…
13 October 2015
Experientia report: Design for ageing gracefully

Design for Ageing Gracefully Rethinking Health and Wellness for the Elderly: Public Services Asian Insights & Design Innovation, DesignSingapore Council October 2015

29 September 2015
[Experientia book] Ethnography on elderly health and wellness

As we age, we increasingly depend on public services and the community for support. Well-designed public services can greatly affect the lives of the elderly and their experiences of healthcare. Experientia collaborated with DesignSingapore Council on understanding how the elderly interact with public services and how we can look towards improving their lives with design. […]

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

See all articles