Sight and sound

The other day I talked about the coming age of wearables, and how that paradigm shift might alter, in fundamental ways, our interaction with the Cloud and perhaps with each other. One of the readers commented that Millennials already exist in a world of tightly interconnected social networking through the Cloud, via their SmartPhones.

I countered that there is a fundamental difference between social interaction through a SmartPhone and social interaction face to face. Your phone requires you to look at the screen, rather than at the person you are with. As a colleague of mine observed today, he would prefer a technology that doesn’t get in the way of sharing a beer with his friends.

Today I had a discussion with another colleague on this general topic, and the conversation turned to visual versus audio, when interacting with the Cloud. Maybe audio will turn out to be a better direction. Perhaps the future of wearables will veer more in the general direction of Alexa (or Her, for you dystopians out there). The most useful interface may turn out to be the one that simply whispers in your ear.

I suspect we will end up with some creative combination of the two, with each augmenting the other, perhaps using novel approaches to integrating sight and sound in interface design. That’s pretty much what JARVIS is, and it seems to work for Iron Man. :-)

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