The Paradigm of Yesteryear
Point and click. Interaction that is nailed down to the pixel, aka the mouse and keyboard. These tools have served us well for almost 20 years, however, with the technological advances that have come about within just the past 5, nay, 3 years, Natural User Interfaces (NUIs) have become trendy, affordable, and a great alternative to current computing. However, the adoption of these NUIs hinges on some key aspects…
Adopting the New Paradigm
The success of NUIs depends on a few key factors.
Accessibility – what platforms will NUIs be based upon? Will NUIs be based upon proprietary “applications” and hardware combinations, or will there be a standardization of NUI interfacing?
Function – will these NUIs promote a totally different style of computing, or build upon the old paradigm?
Form – people don’t like ugly, and with NUIs, there is a new opportunity for “beautiful computing”
Apple, for better or for worse, has led the early adoption of NUIs through their innovations with multitouch and gestures on their products, and has paved the way for tablet adoption through their controversial iPad.
The New Frontier – Open or Closed Gardens
Ultimately, NUIs represent the pinnacle of beautiful, intuitive computing. With hardware constantly pushing the envelope of computing and portability, it is now possible to have this experience anywhere and at an affordable price. So what remains is up to the developers. Will developers abide by the rules of closed gardens such as Apple? Or will developers strive to open the gates and develop on open platforms such as HTML5 and push accessibility?
In the end, the question boils down to open vs closed systems – and which will provide the better user experience, and at what costs.