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How Technology Will Become Even More Integrated Into Our Everyday Lives


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(Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos)

What human computer interaction technologies will we see entering the market soon? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by John C. Hart, CS Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, on Quora:

I don’t think we’ll see as many new interface technologies from HCI as much as we’ll see new ways to integrate computing into our everyday lives. Don Norman’s classic book “The Psychology of Everyday Things” reveals how subtle but brilliant design insights that we take for granted make the technology in our everyday lives so easy to use. It is fun to point to new ways of interacting with computers, such as waving your arms in front of a range sensor or using electromagnetic interference to determine how close your hand is to the keyboard, but the real, lasting impacts of HCI happen when we combine the study of new technology with a better understanding of how people do things.

For example, we’ve had virtual reality with head mounted displays since the 1960’s when Ivan Sutherland invented computer graphics. VR headsets are finally becoming an acceptable consumer device because of a lot of recent work to make the image update rate faster than the saccade rate. You may think your eyes move smoothly but actually they dart between fixation points and our perceptual system masks the visual signal during the darting. VR headsets used to make us sick because the headset image would lag behind the motion, but once the update fell below the saccade rate (about 50ms) our perceptual system started to ignore the lag. So the thing that made VR work was to focus the technology development to adapt to the way the human eye looks at things. (Now that VR works, we still don’t have the foggiest idea how to create a decent user interface in a virtual world.)

This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

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(Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos)

What human computer interaction technologies will we see entering the market soon? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by John C. Hart, CS Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, on Quora:

I don’t think we’ll see as many new interface technologies from HCI as much as we’ll see new ways to integrate computing into our everyday lives. Don Norman’s classic book “The Psychology of Everyday Things” reveals how subtle but brilliant design insights that we take for granted make the technology in our everyday lives so easy to use. It is fun to point to new ways of interacting with computers, such as waving your arms in front of a range sensor or using electromagnetic interference to determine how close your hand is to the keyboard, but the real, lasting impacts of HCI happen when we combine the study of new technology with a better understanding of how people do things.

For example, we’ve had virtual reality with head mounted displays since the 1960’s when Ivan Sutherland invented computer graphics. VR headsets are finally becoming an acceptable consumer device because of a lot of recent work to make the image update rate faster than the saccade rate. You may think your eyes move smoothly but actually they dart between fixation points and our perceptual system masks the visual signal during the darting. VR headsets used to make us sick because the headset image would lag behind the motion, but once the update fell below the saccade rate (about 50ms) our perceptual system started to ignore the lag. So the thing that made VR work was to focus the technology development to adapt to the way the human eye looks at things. (Now that VR works, we still don’t have the foggiest idea how to create a decent user interface in a virtual world.)

This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

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