Monday, March 06, 2006

> When Displays Are Interface Instruments.

The television was a great display. The networks broadcasted shows and our televisions diplayed those shows. Simple enough.

For a few technical types the computer display started to mean more interactivity. One could type an incredibly long and obscure string of alpha numeric characters on the screen and something would happen in the big box that the display was attached to. Nifty stuff and suddenly a display did more than just display.

Then came ATM's, personal computers, and Nintendo and we all got used to displays that encouraged us to think of the screens as interfaces rather than mere displays.

With that inadequate and accelerated historical timeline, here are three examples of display interfaces that are changing the game:

1) Wacom Cintiq
I just ordered one of these for an Illustrator in our Creative department and it has a very high wow factor in addition to changing the user experience from that old Nintendo hand/eye coordination skill to much closer to natural media. Working directly on screen really does change the game.

2) Jazzmutant Lemur:
Technically it is an innovative input device to control computer real-time applications. In practice it is the high-tech version of the one man band. And I do not mean that in a facetious way, rather it allows a performer such as a musician or visual artist to perform in new and fascinating ways.

3) Multi-Touch Interaction Research:
Any conversation in this area would be remiss if we didn't include some experimental offerings.
Once you get beyond the trippy stuff, the managing of photo's and navigating information started to look quite interesting. Kind of Minority Reportesque, as my friend Karl Long pointed out.


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