Interfaces of the Future - 4th Form ICT
In order for people to interact with technology, machines requires a user interface. These are the buttons, menus or instructions that make the device perform a particular function. With the development of technology, voice recognition and touch screen devices have become ever popular; researchers have even developed ways that computer games can be played on the surface of bathwater...
But what is the future of user interfaces? How will we give commands to machines in the future? Last week, the 4th Form ICT class were tasked with solving this problem.
The class started by thinking about areas in the home or workplace where people interact with machines. David Bunzl took inspiration from the bathtub computer screen (shown in the above link) by developing a digital duvet that would have the image from a nearby computer or phone projected on to it. The 'Do-Vay', as the product is called, would sense the user's hand gestures so they could navigate around the page from the comfort of their own bed. Sounds ideal!
Katie Moseley also had an idea relating to home entertainment. Her interface was controlled by the user's heartbeat, which would alter the lights and sounds of the room whilst they were watching their favourite film. During dramatic action scenes or tense horror moments, the room would pick up on an elevated heart rate and would create a better cinematic experience.
Meanwhile, Anouska Strähnz targeted her new technology towards the zookeeping industry. Within an animal's enclosure, a computerised mat could be used to detect the weight of an approaching animal. After comparing this to the zoo's database of size and weight, the computer would then automatically dispense the appropriate amount of food. The technology could also be developed to detect changes in the animal's vitamin levels, so specially-balanced food could be given.
Finally, James Tatman designed a glove that used motion and pressure sensors to control a computer. James explained that this would be "ideal for gaming" or as a compact mouse for laptops. James and the rest of the group will continue to explore new technologies as they progress through the ICT iGCSE course, and who knows, we may see the 'Do-Vay' on shop floors soon!