We have all seen it happen in the movies. A person walks into a room and says “lights” and the lights in the room come on. Sometimes, these fictional characters can operate their computer through an interface built into the kitchen table while they have their morning coffee. Then, there is the character that pulls up a 3-D display in mid-air then interacts with it, molding and shaping the data with simple gestures. 10 years ago this may have just been fiction, but with today’s computer interface advances, some of these “fictions” are quickly becoming a reality. The MIT Technology review wrote an article that highlights some of the interfaces that will someday become mainstream. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights and how those who have been to coding school will be involved.
- Voice Recognition – Although this technology has existed for a long time, it has many awkward issues that cause it to be inaccurate. Either users have found themselves constrained by the necessity of using a set of key words that the computer will recognize, or they have to be willing to invest the time it takes to train the computer to recognize their voice and speech nuances. This is rapidly changing. Computers are not only becoming much more powerful, but the available parsing algorithms are becoming more intelligent. As voice recognition improves our ability to control computers and other smart devices will improve with it. Using a natural tone of voice we will be able to control our devices. Dictating messages, performing searches, and even operating lights and appliances around the house is a real possibility as this technology gets better.
- Gesture Sensing – In the gaming world, you can already track devices using compact magnetometers, accelerometers, and gyroscopes. However, this requires you to be holding the device in order for the sensor to see it. So, the next step was enabling the computer to track simple 3-D movements. This has also been successfully implemented. The problem is lighting; tracking complex movements with irregular lighting has been a setback to this technology. Well, the new computer vision software will use infrared. This will allow whole-body sensing in almost any light conditions. The possibilities are limitless with this kind of interface. With a series of gestures, you could conceivably run your computer and its applications without ever tapping a single key!
- Haptics – More commonly called force feedback, haptics is a way of manipulating our sense of touch. We are familiar with the more common uses of haptics already. A game controller that vibrates with screen impacts and, of course, a cell phone set on vibrate. However, imagine you could use your touch screen and actually feel each button as you push it. Different categories of buttons and menus could each have their own signature sensation. Add to this the ability to feel the texture of different images when they are displayed, and you start to see what this technology is capable of. Not only would this be innovative for the common user, but the implications for handicapped individuals is staggering.
- Augmented Reality– Anyone who has played the new Pokémon game on their smart phone already knows how this works. Using complicated sensor technology, GPS receivers provide positioning data. When combined with digital compasses, this technology allows you to view the real world through your device with virtual images and tags overlaid on top. So what is the future of augmented reality? More than one company has started working on prototypes that will bring you wearable glasses that will offer these same overlays. Using this technology combined with special interfaces, users will be able to store data at a location in the real world and someone else can come along and pick it up. Imagine leaving a virtual file on a table in a public park and your friend can come by, grab it, and take it with them!
As this article demonstrates, technology is always moving forward. The future will be determined by those who can develop and maintain web pages and applications in this emerging digital field. The technology of apps and games look great on the screen, but behind every image is the work of a trained coder.
With our program school you can start your coding career in only 15-21 weeks. So contact us or drop by the campus at 9191 N. Sheridan Blvd Suite 300, Westminster, Colorado, 80031. We are on the third floor. The tech industry moves lightning fast and, for your sake, so do we!