Intuitive human computer interaction

Back in 2005, Jeff Han appeared on TED Talks and demonstrated some touch screen prototypes soon to come ‘out of the lab’. In light of Apple’s release of the iPhone, we will no doubt see more of this touch screen technology in the market and I hope in education over the coming decade!

Han demos image manipulation using hand gestures directly on the screen.

One comment I picked up from his talk here was about the $100 laptop – that perhaps we should be looking beyond the current trend and form in which our computing takes and begin to look at future possibilities in terms of accessibility and usability in human-computer interaction (HCI).

100 dollar laptop design

Image: Media Laboratory

The design of the laptop, Han would say, still restricts us to using physical and material components like a stylus or keyboard. Han’s point is that we can remove the interface altogether so no ‘handbook’ is required and intuition reigns. Han speaks from a priviledged position though, although an egalitarian one – we need to start somewhere don’t we? I wonder what Iqbal Quadir would think of this, along with the new iPhone? :o)

I recommend viewing Han’s TED Talk – what do you think about this as a future for human-computer interaction in terms of greater access and usability for HCI, especially in less-priviledged parts of the world?

Also, for me, I certainly see how this parallels designing learning spaces and blending approaches (physically and otherwise) to enhance learning and engage learners and teachers alike. Rather than shutting in the world of computing – and our learning – it places technology squarely within our everyday lives so that we can celebrate our modernity (to poach a phrase from Alain de Botton’s TV series)!

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