Fascinating user interface design from Tactus Technology that embraces touch rather than the smooth glassy surfaces. Completely transparent physical buttons rise up from a touchscreen surface on demand.
I’ve spoken in the past on future trends reluctant to embrace our sense of touch. Too often we get caught up with technology that is all surface and no feeling. I do believe there are unlimited possibilities for user interface design to bridge the digital and physical gap in new and interesting ways.
Take for instance ZeroN. Here the user interface design takes the form of gravity defying objects. Moving the spherical object around could replicate camera tracking around a virtual movie set, or work out the optimum balance of light and shade at a given point in the day. It could even simulate Â your movements and replay them.
It offers a totally new tactile user interface design for computers. The physics, momentum and weight of objects become more real, more in keeping with how we perceive and interact with the world around us.
That’s not to say that the user interface design of say the iPad is bad in itself, rather it points to a future of Â poor imitations. Today you can still find the web littered with sites where page turns and accompanying sound effects are applied without any trace of irony.
User interface design has to think bigger and beyond the confines of the screen. Perhaps the stance adopted by Microsoft to open up Kinect to 3rd parties offers scope for user interface design to be stretched into new areas. Take for instance the University of Minnesota who have adapted Kinect’s motion sensors to detect a range of psychological conditions in children such as Autism without the need of intrusive sensors being attached.
Whether it is being applied to the world of medicine, or for more superficial purposes the ability to appeal to our sense of touch and to mimic surfaces offers a compelling direction for user interface design going forward.