Human-computer interaction (HCI) is everywhere, from the check-ins at an airport to buying groceries, and it is expanding. The relationships between humans and technology are still young, though the future promises to fade out the dividing line.
Full immersive experiences and direct implants are set to change the way we live and work in both real and virtual worlds.
Voice and Speech Recognition
Voice and speech recognition software can understand regional accents with a low error rate. Calling a friend or buying services with a verbal request is commonplace and is set to replace the need for switches and buttons.
The future of voice recognition may be another stopgap before synaptic implants. But speech recognition is already removing the need for obtrusive keypads on smart wear and smartphones. Being able to explain what you want removes the need for programming know-how and opens up complex software to a wider audience.
Wearable technologies like smartwatches are examples of using HCI to track our movements and health statistics. The ability to pay for goods with wearable tech is not new, but it is a step away from hard currency and payment cards.
Though wearable technology is still popular, it is considered a temporary solution to monitoring our health and habits. The future points toward direct interactions with implants, which will begin by recording basic statistics. These implants may then go on to full symbiotic conversation between a computer and the brain.
As the arrival of the mouse took away the need to type in shortcuts, eye-tracking is replacing the need for clickable icons. Glancing over to an image gives eye-tracking software enough information to tell if it is a request to continue or part of a search.
Gaming is a lucrative multi-billion-dollar market that is developing new eye-tracking technologies. Cameras pointing at the eyes can turn the eyes into another method of controlling a game. Games will rely on eye movement to determine the actions the player wants to take. Such games may also serve a place in gathering vital signs from patients while in the middle of surgery.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) headsets are getting more affordable and practical. A VR game can develop the story to match changes in the wearer’s emotions as they focus on different objects within the game. These games will also display virtual interests that will try to gain attention from the player to sell other products.
Augmented Reality (AR) adds to the real-life experience rather than replacing it. AR is available on many smart devices, though it has had a slow start in smart glasses. Smart glasses overlay general information and the user’s preferences over the real world to build engagement.
User Interface (UI) design is an essential area of a user’s experience and aims to reach such a level that a human user forgets they are interacting with a computer. Learning about future UI advancements is available at your own pace with an online short course and develops the skill of a User Experience (UX) designer and those wanting to harness the power of HCI into their business.