Future Interface Ideas

In Future Interfaces, ITP

The assignment for our first class was to brainstorm and come up with a list of ideas on what kind of experience an AR/VR interface would be in the future. David asked us to thing in the more fantastical sense, while Ken seemed to be more aligned with the practical approach. In the end, they agreed on starting bigger and then being able to narrow it down into a more practical application. My mind and work has always had practicality as a primary driving forces, and therefore, I’ll do my best with the fantastical but as you’ll see, there are not many Matrix-esque depictions of the future in my list. Finally, we are to select our strongest idea and will be sharing it with David and Ken. My favorite of the ideas is the first item on the list.


  • Voice Activated AR Interface with Predictive Thoughts – I was very impressed by Ken’s ChalkTalk in the way that it didn’t interfere with the person-to-person communication but actually augmented it. Sketching is a very organic act that happens often in conversations and allows the various participants to perform in real-time. So I tried to think about how to create another sort of interface that presents no obstacles to real-time performance. With that, I landed on a Voice UI that could be triggered in some way to listen and then display visuals/information on the screen for all participants involved in the discussion at the relevant time. I presented this idea to my group during the brain storming process and it then evolved in interesting ways. What if the Voice UI could listen to what was being said and could surface suggested topics of interest/listings in a sort-of idea graph if it sensed inquisitive tones from participants in the conversation. This would prove very useful in brainstorming sessions. To take it a step further, our group discussed having the ability to read a person’s thoughts, in which case, it would surface related thoughts to the conversation of each participant to help surface the best ideas without the need for them to actually say anything.
  • Insecurity Hack – People all have variable levels of of vanity and insecurity but most tend to be their own worst critique. Because self-confidence is such an important asset in how you present, behave and interact with others, it would be cool to have an AR experience that actually made you look marginally better, and in turn, feel better about yourself. The improvement in appearance would be in-line with the feeling of a “good hair day” and wouldn’t be apparent to others necessarily.
  • Skype Dinner – Another idea that came up in the group was the ability to bring people closer together. Almost as the next step in evolution from phone to skype to the ability to actually participate in an experiences at a distance. I thought of an example of how I couldn’t be with my family this summer and it would have been cool for me, if I were alone to be able to enter a virtual reality that is essentially my family in real-time have dinner all together. For my family that was actually together, they would have an AR experience where I would simply fill one of the seats. I’m using an example of a dinner but this could be for board games and other general hanging out purposes.
  • Combination of Multi-Frequency Capacitive Sensors and AR – I’m really fascinated by the work the Disney Research Lab has done around multi-frequency capacitive sensors allowing physical objects to control digital interfaces. I feel like a combination of that with AR would be very cool as it seems like the traditional screen interface behind gorilla glass will be replaced by it’s adaptation within AR. An example I could think of is swiping your finger along the neck of a sink to turn on the water and receiving information in the AR interface as to what the water flow and temperature is for example.
  • Alternate Identities or Avatars – I thought it would be cool to allow people to broadcast alternative identities to various group and circles to allow them to communicate certain things about their interests and identity. A person could broadcast very different identities depending on the group, where it becomes more honest and revealing the more private the group it is.

Other Ideas included:

  • Sense when a person was losing focus on a task and getting them back on track (ADD AR)
  • Military AR interface to visualize missions, strategies and geo-location information
  • Have a physics AR interface that can analyze laws of physics in surrounding word.

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