Thursday, June 07, 2007

Multi-modal design: Gesture, Touch and Mobile big thing?

The application of multi-modal interaction ...

"It's great to see excitement building for the Apple iPhone (launch expected late June '07). Korea's LG Prada, an iPhone competitor product, launched a few months ago in the UK.

Just this week a new touch screen device- Taiwan's HTC Touch was announced for release immediately in the UK and later this year in the US.

The hot attraction of course with the iPhone, the Prada and the Touch is that they offer touch and gesture-only user interaction. Clarification: Only the Apple iPhone offers gesture-like pinching interaction (eg. open-close; zoom in-out).

What's great about the excitement around these new phones is that they set a new precedent in communication device design for 2008-2010. They are, if you will, a generation up from the slide cover keyboard phones. These devices are hip, keyboard-free, MP3 and mobile Web-friendly.

What is Multi-modal interaction?

Multi-modal interaction is an area of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) that has a long history of usability research and empirical study. The virtual reality and game design research community have been studying this commercially since the early 1980's with pioneering researchers such as Brenda Laurel at Atari.

Today researchers like Jeff Han, see images left, are meshing with industrial efforts to bring multi-modal interaction to life. Last week, Microsoft announced Surface- an interactive coffee-table surface that responds to touch and gesture. Users can explore information linked to objects placed on the desktop (TMobile will use it in stores to encourage handset purchase decision support).

The scenario videos on the Microsoft Surface website are worth a look. Very well presented."    (Continued via Demystifying Usability)    [Usability Resources]

Multi-modal Interaction - Usability, User Interface Design

Multi-modal Interaction


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