Friday, July 31, 2009

Killer 3D Drawing Interface

I'm completely fascinated by this thing. It's unclear to me how it identifies the coordinate planes (the plane upon which each line is drawn), but I can't wait to give it a whirl!

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

In Depth Review of Amalga and Health Vault on Surface

Congress allocated $19 Billion of stimulus funding for create a national system for electronic medical records. Amalga and Healt Vault are big technologies to watch...and they may just be the killer app for Surface. This is incredibly useful technology and I'm rooting for it!

The patient experience could be dramatically enhanced with a couple of simple changes.

1. The current demo sets up a dynamic where only one user at a time can control the content. This will likely lead to a proscriptive experience for the patient. A couple of subtle changes could make the experience much more consultatitive.

In the demo's current iteration, the doctor really controls the show, pulling out files and controlling them.

Placing the controllers on the side of content will create for a much more consultative patient experience, decrease occlusion of the image and, in many cases, eliminate the need to rotate the images.



2. The text is likely too small to render properly and for older patients to read.

Building in a magnifier would do a lot to enhance legibility...and the amount of content that can be displayed at any given time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Managing Multitouch Content Across Multiple Displays

Here's an interesting approach to managing Multitouch content across multiple screens:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why Adobe is the Multitouch Company to Watch

To date, the Multitouch space is playing out much like other major interface changes. The small hardware companies like igesture, ntrig, etc. are getting gobbled up by the large competitors in the space.

What most analysts are missing is that the hardware and OS are irrelevant. Yes there will be a clear winner in the OS and Hardware...but these are commodities.

The big margins will be in enabling software development on top of these platforms. Verizon is rolling out high speed (think 1.5MBS) wireless internet...and the other major wireless players will follow. The combination of broadband at home and in the pocket means is that multitouch software won't be published for Windows or Mac. It will be published for the web

...and the go to company for web interfaces is Adobe. To date, Adobe has been vewy vewy quite about their activities...but hear this, they will be the company to contend with because they have the largest base of developers who design interfaces to work across browsers, providing stability while today's titans fight for the crumbs.

As long as Adobe stays standards compliant, Apple will eventually have to either let them in, block the applications that users want...they would rather do the former than become irrelevant.

If anyone at Adobe would like to chat, we are writing a book on designing multitouch interfaces and would really appreciate your perspective.

Apple's New Tablet Will Look Like This

I generally avoid the Apple rumor mill, but this one looks real. Here's why I say this: the Financial Times also avoids the rumor mill...and they are siting multiple sources from different industries who are working on related licensing deals.

While the article reports an approximately 10" diagonal display, it is likely to be slightly smaller to enhance usability...about 9", in keeping with last year's report of a major display order.

This would make the device approximately 5" x 7.5". I think this is a great idea, because it allows:
- intense interaction at the edges of the device the device
- leaves the central area free for content
- and the whole device can still be touched when held in a position like the one below.

Amazon's Kindle's got a big bucket of trouble coming and I can't wait. I'm rushing over to the Apple Store to get in line!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hot New 3D CAD demo from SpaceClaim

Blake Coulter of SpacClaim sent this over to me the other day. It's by far the most aggressive multitouch application being shown in public right now.

While this is definitely an advance over traditional modelling techniques for revision and minor edits, it still seems a bit like a Frankenstein...Half GUI components that have been implimented in previous revs. and half NUI interace elements.

The way that modes are used in traditionally used to control movement, selection and geometry in CAD still needs to be radically needs to be radically rethought. If a small company like SpaceClaim can succeed at this, the efficiencies they create will put a huge dent in the Autodesk empire.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Creating Subtle Affordances

In elementary school, my English teacher used to tell me to "tell 'em what yer gonna tell 'em, tell 'em, then tell 'emm what you told 'em". This rule transfers to interface design. Components should always keep users oriented as to potential, current and changed states.

Here are a couple of nifty examples of what call hints and and confirmations.


I like this because it concept because it frees ensures that users know when an a gesture is registered correctly...this is particularly important when the gesture changes a mode in a way that is not completely obvious.

Thanks Jim for sending this. Not sure where it came from. If this is your idea, I'd love to credit you, so speak up!


Peltier Device on a Mouse provides warm/cold feedback

I like this idea, not so much for mice an large displays, but for mobile zoming interfaces, where the relevant information is off screen.

It might be an interesting way to run around some of the indexing limitations inherent to many zooming interfaces like <br/><a href="" target="_new" title="An Overview of pptPlex">Video: An Overview of pptPlex</a>">ppt plex and deep zoom.

Synaptics' Bad Ass 10 Point Touch Technology

You may be asking why you need 10 point touch on a phone...The may be a little different...and more useful than you think.

- Today, most devices are limited to one or two point touch...meaning that if there is an unintentional contact with the surface when you are doing an activity like typing, the device averages that in, causing it to register that you hit the 'H' key when you meant to hit the 'J' key.

- It means that the device has a decent chance of knowing when your fingers have crossed paths. A major issue in direct manipulation applications.

- The device sees outlines, meaning that it can measure blob orientation. This mean that it can figure out when your right hand or left hand are interacting with the device, assigning separate modes to each hand.

The killer app for technologies like this is as likely to be interacting with the back of smaller devices a la Lucid Touch

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

3D touch interface on Acer Mobile

The relevant video at 1:04

Is this weird or cool or Bob on a Cellphone? I'd love your thoughts.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tilt-based Interactions, A Tutorial

The Return of Multitouch Maven

Tune in tomorrow for the next Multitouch Roundup.

Multitouch Maven is back in action. Things have been pretty hectic here with a couple of excellent projects that I should be able to tell you all about in the next week!

In the mean time, check out this bit of love from TAT:

Why You Should Dig Physical Computing

There's something about completely over the top student demos that warms my heart. This warms my heart.