We’re trapped in a paradox. We love our smartphones, they have revolutionized the ways in which we stay connected and access information on the go. But at the same time, they are so socially intrusive that they impact our relationships, productivity and ability to concentrate.
Determined to feed our ever-intensifying addiction to digital information AND live in the present moment, consumers are demanding new, more natural forms of interacting with technology. From devices we can talk to, to notifications that we can feel, we crave access to information that is fully integrated in the world around us. In 2016, NO INTERFACE will finally become a reality. It is a collection of trends which both fuel and serve the need for more natural interactions with technology.
Sight is the New Interface
This idea of ‘no interface’ is explored in a short futuristic film called Sight, created by Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo of Robot Genius Films. It takes place in a world not too far away in which contact lenses replace smartphones. Sight is an augmented reality interface for the eyes. It is laid on top of your normal field of vision and allows for highly integrated networking and gamification in daily life.
The film examines both the benefits and the dangers of augmented reality and gamification. Does the constant influx of information help or hurt our chances of connecting with each other? What are the costs as well as the benefits of having advanced augmented reality?
Voice is the New Interface
There are few interactions that are easier or faster than simply talking. A number of tech innovations are emerging which use voice as the new interface. For example, Amazon Echo is a cloud-connected device which is always on. It can answer spoken questions by searching the internet and then speaking the answers. In 2014, Dutch Bank ING launched a voice control feature inside of its mobile banking app, which allows users to check their balance and make payments.
OneTravel is a voice activated travel agent which will search for and book flights via mobile app. Ubi is a WiFi connected mini-computer which can send messages to contacts, look up information, play music and control other smart devices. While Moto Hint is a bluetooth-enabled earbud that can sync with a mobile phone. It can make calls, push notifications and send messages. For an example of where voice interface is heading, check out the popular Spike Jonze movie, Her.
Gesture is the New Interface
Natural gestures are a super-intuitive way to interact with devices. Ring zero is a smart ring which allows the user to control smart devices by gesture control. Single Cue is a device that can be used to control TV and/or thermostat. Microsoft Gestures is an app which allows users to operate their Windows phone without physically touching the screen. You can answer the phone simply by place the phone to your ear, mute the phone by placing the phone down or switch to speaker mode by placing the phone face up.
Touch is the New Interface
Touch interactions mean digital information that users can feel. The Apple Watch gives users vibrating notifications, while Mercedez Benz gives drivers a vibrating notifications when the car switches from battery power to gas. Additionally, Hug is an app which sends a vibrating hug to other smartphone users. Whether it be sight, touch, voice or gesture, it’s clear that the world is moving closer to no interface being the new interface.