For many years, graphical interface has primarily been a means of interacting and communicating with machines. But user interfaces that can more fluidly interpret human commands are gradually becoming realized and this will revolutionize user experience.
Natural User Interface (NUI) is the term given to the collection of new technologies that allow users to engage through the direct use of different parts of the body. By using the voice, eyes, and brain, users will be able to interact through natural movements, voice, gestures, and thoughts. NUI designers are tasked with finding methods of interacting with computers in the most organic way possible.
Gesture-based interactions have for years been used in gaming, including those used by the Nintendo Wii or Xbox Kinect. Devices that interpret input from body and hand movements will soon be applied to various computing tasks, such as moving images or data sheets on a computer interface. These movements will be mapped with the help of 3D technology.
Brain-based UI in the form of NUI that maps brain impulses in order to process thoughts as to specific commands. This technology is still in the development stages. But one early pioneer in electroencephalographic (EEG) headsets is the EPOC neuroheadset from Emotiv.
Virtual reality headsets are already commonly used in the world of gaming. But both VR and augmented reality are emerging technologies that are soon to be in everyday use. Augmented reality glasses and contact lenses will enable the required information to be immediately accessible in the user’s vision. For example, a map may be directly projected on the road ahead for a driver.
Voice technology has been improving its capabilities and is rising in the number of adoptions. Speech is one of the most natural and direct methods of communication. So a considerable amount of time and effort will be saved when voice user interfaces (VUIs) are in ubiquitous use.
One of the main challenges in voice technology is in speech recognition. This is important for identification and in interpreting the precise meaning of the speaker. When we reach the point at which computers can interpret both verbal and non-verbal human interactions, computers will be able to deliver more appropriate responses.
Speech recognition capabilities have recently been developing. Voice assistants are now able to recognize users better and return search results more quickly.
Our view on the future of UX
Areas of focus in the future will be on voice-based authentication and emotional assistance. User experience is critical to designers, as it may decide the overall popularity of a product. But when designers are too concerned with UX they may overlook the objective of the user. The best interface is no interface, as when it is not noticeable users can complete their tasks unhindered. In the future, machines will be designed to be more like humans and less like interfaces.