Human Computer Interaction Awakens

I expect one of the big buzzes tomorrow will be Microsoft’s Surface Computing initiative.  The first articles are appearing and on10 has a First Look: Microsoft Surfacing Computing! video up that shows off a great demonstration.

I’ve recently been exploring a theme I call “Human Computer Interaction.”  A metaphor speaks volumes – if you remember John Anderton in the movie Minority Report, you can envision a much more interesting way to interact with a computer than using a mouse and keyboard.

Several experiences, including my investment in Harmonix Music Systems (the makers of Guitar Hero), finally coalesced in my mind about a year ago resulting in the idea that there was a real opportunity around creating platforms and applications to change the way that humans interact with computers.  This isn’t a “consumer” problem or an “enterprise” problem – it spans the entire spectrum of computing applications.

I’ve made one new investment in this area and expect to make several others in the next few years.  Of all the things I’ve played with and thought about in the past year, this area has the greatest opportunity to radically transform the way computers work.  For a while, I’ve been suggesting to anyone that will listen (mostly my dog) that I’m ready for my implant that will jack me directly into the metaverse.  As each day comes, I get a step closer.

  • “A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he’d taken and the corners he’d cut in Night City, and he’d still see the matrix in his sleep, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colorless void…”

    William Gibson, Neuromancer

  • What I love about entering a new field is learning the new conference circuit.

    have you been to SIGCHI yet? (the CHI being Computer-Human Interaction)

    It’s a good place to start if you’re going to be delving into this area. And I expect you’ll be hanging around the Media Lab a little more as well.

  • Dave

    Minority Report, do you mean whenever you use your computer it plays Schubert in the background?

    Seriously though, there is another user interface that is perhaps not as “cool” but one we would all want and simply has not been realized (at least not at a consumer level): when he enters his apartment he gives it verbal commands and it does what he asks. Overhead light, stereo, etc.

  • Here’s another User Interface that’s catching on in unlikely places than what it was originally designed for ; The Nintendo Wii Remotes.

    Here’s an interesting story in the Wall Street Journal on how hackers are using the API for the Wii remote to control things like Roomba Vacuum Cleaners, TiVos and even Robots!

    Magic Wand: How Hackers Make Use Of Their Wii-motes The $40 Game Controller Hits Balls, Plays Deejay And Regulates a Roomba
    April 28, 2007;

    URL for this article:

    Subscription May be required, I am not sure…

  • Don’t forget the Nintendo Wii. The wireless controllers are pretty amazing.

  • I have not much time, but I've got many useful things here, love it!