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Gartner on non-graphical UI

Category: Social effects

Analysts are an influential lot. Their predictions of ecommerce riches led to the 1998-2000 stock bubble, and companies often take their advice with a lot of faith. Gartner recently release a report examining non-graphical user interfaces entitled "The Evolving User Interface From Graphical UI to
Environmental UI ." I haven't read the actual report, but there's a new a summary on Gartner's site. What's interesting is that they avoid all of the terminology of ubiquitous or pervasive computing, maybe knowing that their audience needs to have the results in familiar words. Maybe they're also right in de-emphasizing the most buzzy tech.

Here are some parts I found interesting, as much for what they're chosing to concentrate on as their date predictions:

The GUI will remain the main UI model through 2010. However, several factors are increasing the pressure to extend the interaction model — especially for targeted niche markets


Organizations must also look beyond functional issues to psychological ones to identify all potential economic consequences.


Mobile and workflow applications are more-promising candidates for gaining value from speech recognition, however. These applications use speech recognition for application control and will feed speech recognition to the desktop over time as users become comfortable with the voice interface paradigm.


Through 2007, fewer than 20 percent of organizations will adopt desktop videoconferencing (0.8 probability). Through 2010, the use of video in corporate environments will split into low-end and high-end markets. Meanwhile, improved display technologies and sound will make multipoint videoconferencing more palatable for most environments. [...] Eventually (2010 to 2015), high-end video systems will allow the remote experience to approach that of being in the same room with a remote speaker (0.8 probability).


The emergence of rich Internet applications combined with user demands to reduce interface latency illustrates how the emergence of a UI technology can drive new business opportunities. The application service provider (ASP) market failed because users were unwilling to step back from the user experience with the client/server and locally hosted applications or to experience poor latency and extended data entry times.


Today, multiple symmetric displays are used primarily in specialized applications to stretch the desktop but will become mainstream by 2009. Asymmetric displays will become prevalent, especially task-focused, at-a-glance displays for calendar or status information.


By 2010, e-paper capabilities will be addressed, providing wall-size, low-resolution monochromatic displays, which will dip into the price range of a cubicle wall or high-end wallpaper by 2015. Interaction with wall-size displays will finally bring gesture recognition into the mainstream, illustrating how the emergence of one UI element can influence the value and adoption of another technology.


Through 2008, new interfaces for established functions will dominate, with sociable devices growing through 2012. In the long term (2010 and beyond), devices will integrate information from many sources to deliver an integrated and sociable user experience.


Looking to 2015, there is potential for more dramatic shift in the UI. The so-called desktop will flow off of the desk and into office appliances and the walls around the user. Meanwhile, the expansion of personal/mobile devices and evolving embedded systems (for example, radio frequency identification [RFID], telematics and consumer electronics) will further fragment the desktop model of computing.

In this world of ambient intelligence, any nontrivial device will contain some degree of embedded processing and communications capability.


By 2015, the focus will shift from designing individual interfaces for particular devices to creating a proactive UI framework for the environment (0.6 probability).

I think that their numbers are interesting, and probaby accurate for the mass adoption range, but the unevenly distributed future will show that there is a layer of technology development and adoption that will make the more ubicomp-ey stuff much more prevalent than 2015. I'd argue that by 2010 there will already be a bunch...and then, because the ideas of the cutting edge hit the mass market a ways before mass adoption, there will be a big shift in people's relationship to technology. On the coasts, the early-adopter parts of the lifestyles that will go along with these technological shifts will appear much sooner.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Gartner on non-graphical UI:

» More on speech recognition interfaces from Ben Kraal's New Now Know How
(Via OrangeCone) Gartner have a new report out on The Evolving User Interface (link goes to summary, real report is $$$) that mentions speech recognition. Despite delivery of continuous speech recognition in 1997 and subsequent advances that now deli [Read More]


Interesting predictions. I find some of them overestimated. The video conferencing is just a vogue buzz word that has been used since the 1970's.

Proactive UI framework!! YEAH!

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