Twenty years ago, we had no idea of the ways in which a computer and the Internet would impact our lives. So it stands to reason that 20 years from now – perhaps even 5-10 years from now given how the technology curve has accelerated – we may find ourselves interacting with technology in remarkable new ways.
Microsoft, having watched Apple dominate the tech innovation headlines over the last decade, is now at work on next generation computers that could one day render keyboards and touch screens obsolete.
Some of that tech is already here, with iPhones you can talk to (and that will answer you) and video game systems that capture your movements and incorporate them into game play.
What if that type of system, dubbed Natural User Interaction (NUI) could be incorporated into all computer usage? Could we talk to our computers like Scottie on Star Trek? That’s just the beginning. In addition to voice recognition, these new systems would incorporate facial recognition as well. That’s right – your computer will be able to pick you out of a crowd, and do your bidding by reading your lips, even if there are other voices in the room or music playing in the background.
And when you are working at your desk, you won’t have to type instructions or use a mouse. Instead, the computer will recognize gestures as commands. A “pulling” movement will indicate you wish to pull a document from a file. Open your hand, and the file opens. Wave your hand and move it across the screen or into another location.
The trick is not just bringing this technology out of science fiction, but incorporating it into our work or recreational lives in a way that is actually more efficient than the mouse and keyboard. No one wants to sit in front of a monitor waving like a crazy person until the machine finally recognizes your request. The advances must be consistent, reliable and intuitive, or they really aren’t advances – they’re just gimmicks.
Another consideration is the security implications of these new tools. How accurate is voice or facial recognition? How could those systems be compromised? As this next generation of systems is introduced, a new generation of security software and encryption will be necessary to keep pace.
Unfortunately, some companies have yet to deal with this generation’s security challenges, such as mobile device encryption. If it’s been awhile since you’ve thought about data protection, contact Aurora today. We can provide a risk assessment and advice on how to best avoid a security breach.
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