Vision talk

Today I gave a “vision talk” here in Berlin. Vision talks are a new thing at the UIST conference — this is the first year they have it. The idea is to invite a few senior researchers to present their vision for the future.

My vision talk essentially boiled down to the proposition that augmented reality will create an opportunity to evolve natural language itself to include an expressive computer-enhanced visual component. This is important because the most powerful thing about humans, I argued, is our ability to communicate with each other.

I had only fifteen minutes to work with, so it was a bit challenging. Then again, constraints create opportunities.

I focused my thesis down to the essentials, and showed a few carefully chosen interactive examples of the possibilities. Being able to use my Chalktalk program to show a live demo of all these ideas helped a lot.

The feedback I got afterward was very positive. With any luck, I’ve helped to steer the conversation about augmented reality away from a misplaced focus on mere technology, and into a more nuanced, open ended and human-centered direction.

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