HCI is an area which hasn’t seen a lot of advancement in 60 odd years of computer history. I believe that human experiences can be greatly influenced by the conditions that we build (infrastructure, environment, people etc.). Same applies to digital experiences – conditions that we build influence consumers experience of accessing a service/product/information at every touch point.
As a technologist, one of the most important condition that we could influence (by innovating) is the interface layer. Interfaces would undergo a huge change with the invasion of pervasive computing – visible / screen less – natural – gesture driven interfaces would take over and will drive the next gen changes in machine driven economy.
How do you build experiences? Is the architecture any different? is the mindset different? how do you prototype and build out new age experiences.
When you have focus problems and need continuous distractions as a means to focus back on your mainstream work – you end up answering a lot of questions for yourself. Let’s say that I am able to do that for myself.
I have always asked myself a question – why would anyone have the need to leave their footprints (not literally) on this world? I have been fascinated by sumerian tablets, to cave wall paintings to ancient writings (scribblings mostly) and now facebook walls (check-ins, broadcasted messages in form of status updates and so on). As a society why do we do so ? share moments? why have we tried to tell stories, leave hints (whichever way like it?)
Few weeks back i happened to watch “Lucy” the movie while i loved the imagination and the concept i didn’t fall in love with the movie (it was an average overall watch in my opinion). I carried a couple of interesting imaginative scenes from the movie though and i kind of think about the possibility of bringing those solutions to life. here is one such concept (as shown in movie):
(what you see in this picture are connections between mobile devices and satellites – in other words visualised data streams – isn’t this beautiful?)
However, that movie helped me find the connection and answer the question for myself – that entire universe and all organic life came to be because it wanted to spread (big bang, evolution of complex organisms from single cell organisms and so on), transfer the knowledge that it has (gene transfer mechanism) — that idea (if you come to terms with it) to me is such a fundamental truth to our existence (if we believe in it, that is). More i think about it, its a good hypothesis – most importantly helps me answers the question for me. It has also helped me answer other corollary questions like : why do we believe in stories ? why have we always told stories (to pass on the knowledge?)
You could argue that in computing field why would i care?, why would this bother me? The answer to that is that it is important to answer (may not be an accurate answer) simple questions to move on – human brain is complex (lets just leave it at that). However, there is a logical reasonable answer as well – today, you don’t look to solve the problem by boxing it as a “computing” or “economic” or “health related” problem. Think about it – you would ask, whats the problem ? how do we solve for it would be decided based on what it takes the problem to be solved (that most likely means a combination of multiple domains – multiple disciples coming together). So, knowing more about our social structures, human behaviours enables us to solve complex problems that we want to solve today.