BCS is a registered charity: No 292786
29 - 30 October 2009, London, UK
The next generation of interactive technologies will be dominated by touch, gesture and other forms of movement. Collectively we refer to these as expressive interactions.
Tracking technologies are increasingly able to locate and follow people as they move through, or gesture in 3D space. Multi-touch surfaces and proximity sensing are set to be commonplace in business and leisure environments. New forms of 2D gestural interactions are emerging in different cultural settings. The next generation pico projectors promise to turn any surface into a re-configurable interactive device. Mobile devices enable expressive interactions with public displays changing the language and nature of interaction, particularly outside Europe and the USA.
The opportunities presented by these developments go far beyond iPhone apps, Wii games and photo applications on multi-touch tables. Large numbers of people who have previously been excluded from the digital economy have the potential to be empowered. The tyranny of the western keyboard and rectangular screen can be replaced by new forms of interaction that are much more intuitive and expressive. This in turn will democratize access to a wide range of new services, cutting across language, literacy and other barriers.
The technology drivers for this change come at an opportune moment for the world as it grapples with the sustainability agenda and enabling inclusivity. Interaction design must address the social, cultural, economic and environmental impact that it is having and develop methods to ensure sustainable designs. Technologies providing ubiquitous mobile access and intuitive interactions can be harnessed to enable a more inclusive approach, empowering people who are economically, educationally or physically challenged. Thus the digital economy can be opened up to a wider world.