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Natural User Experience

1 May 2012

A natural user interface, as opposed to a man-computer user interface, is based on the natural ways people communicate with each other and their environment and refers to body gestures, movement, facial expressions and touch in order to create an experience of full control of the technology.

Thanks to the late Steve Jobs, that successfully instilled within us an addiction for control and navigating with our fingers, an entire industry of user-friendly, lightweight touch screens allow control of interfaces using our bodies. The main advantage of a natural user interface is that it is appropriate for an extremely wide range of users. It is amazing to see how natural using touch screen is for users from one to one hundred.

A great example of a natural user experience based on full body movement is Microsoft's Kinect (based on an Israeli development by PrimeSense). Microsoft found a way to keep our hands empty and still enjoy a revolutionary game which reads movement and hears sound. It is controlled by a 3D camera which is placed on the upper part of the television which reads the user's movements and can translate them into actions. In practice, it is an interface which reminds us of the Smartphone and Tablet devices, only this time instead of touching the screen we are substantially far from it.

It seems that the technological change of the next few years will be characterized by a shift from graphic interfaces to natural ones. These interfaces will eventually

 Become an integral part of the user's environment.

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