Voices of Barracuda: The future of interaction design

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One of the New Year's resolutions that I actually intend to keep is to help all of you get to know Team Barracuda a little better.  To that end, we're asking our Cudapeeps to give us their opinions on the latest industry news, so that we can share their views with all of you.

A few weeks ago I came across this article on Apple's iBeacon.  I admit, I love this concept.  The idea of being able to walk into a grocery store and have a store map pop up on my cell phone makes me go “meh.”  I already know where stuff is.  But if I could get a route based on a shopping list and check-out with my smartphone, and then use that phone to check-in my groceries when I'm home .. well, “geek squeal” comes to mind.

With this topic in mind, we reached out to Jesse Lowe, one of our User Experience Architects over in our Campbell office.  Here's what Jesse had to say about the future of interaction design:

Before I was with Barracuda, I worked at Mercedes Benz on their Advanced Research Team, working on autonomous vehicles. The primary area of interest we had at Mercedes was exploring vehicle swarms.   Most of the advanced research before 2007 was in adaptive radar systems (adaptive cruise control is now an available feature on most vehicles). The next step was researching how to connect vehicles through a network. We're seeing that become commonplace too with navigation and cars that come with Internet service.

The next step is taking these two pieces of technology and using them together. What we’ll begin to see are cars that can see obstacles and dangers around them and relay that to other nearby cars. In another 10-20 years we’ll see groups of Google cars moving down the street in groups at the same speed and seamlessly moving in and out of the swarm, based on their GPS destination, all without the driver taking control. In fact, here's something Audi was working on:

Click here to see video
A car that can drop you off at the mall and find its own parking place all without a driver even in the vehicle!

Ingestible technology is even more useful to society than wearables.   Imagine you take a trip to Hawaii and need to rent a car. Instead of the car rental company handing you a key, they hand you a pill. That pill you've just swallowed unlocks and starts the car without a key. It could also be taken a step further:  What if you've been drinking, and the pill could monitor your alcohol level and refuse to start the car?

Privacy issues aside, I think we'll find anything from physical keys to health checkups being disrupted by ingestible tech.

Beyond ingestible tech, I think computing is going to enter the public space even more. People have shown they aren't interested in lugging around a laptop so they've moved to tablets. The data they're consuming is stored in the cloud and can be accessed anywhere.  Think about technology like this:

Displax Skin Multitouch
Now a thin roll of paper like material around with them in place of the iPad and access anything from the cloud. I was told recently of a boutique that had a computer screen for the mirror that would change the color of the clothing article on the fly while you¹re looking in the mirror.

For more info on the future of interaction design, check out Bret Victor's work.

Batmobiles?  Cool!

Pills that prevent us from starting our cars?  …. hmm….

What do you think? Talk to us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Google +. Check out our videos on YouTube

Jesse Lowe is a User Experience Architect based in Campbell.  He has over 15 years of experience in design, development, and other very important technology related things.  Connect with him on LinkedIn or through his website, www.jesselowedesigns.com.

Jesse interacting with mustache


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