Sep 28, 2011

Gesturing and Projecting with Mobile Devices

I love the progress mobile technology has made in the past 2 years. However, I've always thought the big limiters to mobile computing are the screen size and a clumsy interface to input data. Tiny videos, images, and small text on web pages are just not ideal for those of us past our teenage years. And my goodness, how many times have I had to retype another tweet because my "i" became a "k" when my finger was slightly off the correct letter.

Three years ago I wrote a blog post about how technology may address these issues in the future. Mobile technology has come a long way in that amount of time. For example, three years ago I didn't even mention Android in the post. Today, I'm a huge Android fan. But, thanks to Apple continuing to innovate, I am now able to add to my previous post.

Apple is signaling that they have serious plans about integrating projectors into iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. This is very much inline with what I was anticipating. However, I mentioned a virtual keyboard as the main input device. While this still may happen, gesturing seems like the more appropriate technology for these mobile devices. With the introduction of Microsoft Kinect and support for various gestures on touch screen devices, gesturing is starting to really mature as a valid solution to human-machine interface.

Imagine some of the collaborative business scenarios that can occur between people and devices once projectors and gesturing become standard. For example, gesturing from one device's projection to another to move files in between them or to swap business or contact information.

Think about the innovative games that will be developed between devices featuring gesturing and projection screens. For example, kids may be able to trade custom or rare characters for games through gesturing like they currently do by other mechanisms for Nintendo DS systems.  It is not hard to imagine new augmented reality options as well.

In a more practical example, college students could exchange class notes during study sessions leading to improved collaborative study and sharing. What type of new interactions do you think will occur?

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