The acronym ‘NUI’ may not be familiar to many users, but chances are, you have used a Natural User Interface. Smartphones and tablets, and even many new computers use touch, which falls into this category. If you have Kinect for your Xbox then that is a NUI as well — it uses your body motion to control what you are doing. It all seems very futuristic already, but the future could make today’s technology seem old-fashioned by comparison.
Microsoft wants to be at the forefront of this emerging technology, really it has to be if it plans to continue to be viable going ahead. “I’m really excited that this morning in Melbourne, we are announcing the opening of the new Microsoft Centre for Social Natural User Interface (‘NUI’) Research – the first dedicated research center of its kind in the world”, says Pip Marlow of Microsoft.
The company will use the new center to research the technology that the rest of us will see in the coming years. You can expect new innovations in voice, gesture recognition, eye gaze, body-movements and touch integration. “The research will focus on how people interact with each other with the help of NUIs to create a more natural and intuitive experience – ultimately strengthening the connection between people and helping them to realize their full potential”, Marlow claims.
Before you get too excited, the center is not actually built yet. The ground was just broken today in Melbourne, Australia, so there is a long haul ahead before the actual research even begins. Still, it’s exciting to hear about what Microsoft has planned for the future, or at least a very small bit of the roadmap.Further reading: Microsoft, NUI