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« TED2007: An artist gets news better than publishers, another builds beautiful wind-powered creatures | Main | TED2007 / TEDprize: Nachtwey, Wilson and Clinton have a wish »

March 08, 2007


Just a point : photosynth works perfectly with firefox 2.0. (In fact better than with ie7). A plug in has been developped recently.

Just another point - Virtual Earth has 2 modes of operation, 2D and 3D. What you refer to above with the 45 degree oblique angles is a flat picture. The 3D mode allows full immersion so you can actually "fly" through a city and see highly accurate and detailed models of all the buildings. Also, it is not "lab stuff" - you can use it today at http://www.virtualearth.com

"30-years-old computer user interfaces made of windows and icons and folders will finally give way to something new and way more powerful and usable."

I wrote to you yesterday at HuffPo, explaining some things to you. I'll continue here...

First of all, you talk about 'computer interfaces' and you should not do that. When you prefix a discussion of interfaces with computers you reinforce a very misguided notion that people who are interacting with displays are required to have computers. This is absolutely false. All that these people are required to have is a display with a network connection. They can interact with their displays if only they are attached to a network, and no computer is necessary. So, you should be talking about display interfaces, not computer interfaces.

I think you fail to understand that millions upon millions of people are already interacting with touchscreens which do NOT have the windows, folders and desktop icons you speak of. These are the people who are using touchscreen computers in point of sale contexts. No, the displays are not doing 3D animation, generally, but that's not very far away, of course. Yes, the displays ARE already allowing people in distant localities to work together in realtime collaborative workgroups. and, Yes, the desktop metaphor was deliberately abandoned over 20 years ago, in this instance.

I don't think you have much of an appreciation for all the work that's been done in touchscreen GUI's already, and I don't think you understand the progress that's already been made in creating graphical languages with touchscreen GUI's. This GUI paradigm that I created was a 'Direct Manipulation' interface more than two decades ago. I was showing it to audiences at Comdex, Cebit, CES and international restaurant shows as early as 1986. The crowds were ten deep at those early shows. Today you see touchscreens everywhere. POS (point of sale) has driven the market to a very mature level.

The only thing that Han and his crew are doing that isn't already being done and in use by millions of people is their use of simultaneous touch points and use of 3D animation. It is up to them to come up with practical applications of these techniques, to make these applications available on affordable displays, and to do what's necessary to allow millions of people to be able to do useful things with their 'interface'.

Will they make it 'open' as I did? Who knows? Will they convince the display manufacturers to put network interfaces on their displays and free us from needing to have and manage computers? Who knows? Will they succeed in giving the world practical benefit as I did? Who knows?

They have a job ahead, turning gee-whiz into affordable usefulness, into a breakthrough that offers the common man/woman/child something that can actually allow them to be more productive, to be able to communicate more easily, to assist them in learning how to live more safely and more efficiently in the world they must live in.

It's not about the technology, really. Not at all. It's about whether the technology makes a difference in the lives of people.

Graphical languages - have you thought about that? That's the big enchilada in the future - graphical languages. To learn with, to communicate with, to work collaboratively with. To restructure our world with. That's what the touchscreen GUI's can do best - and they can do this without users needing to know anything about computers, without them even needing to have computers. They just need network-attached touchscreen displays which support voice input. And they need GUI tools that let them build their own interfaces, their own graphical environments. It's the GUI, the apps and the touchscreen tools that allow people to build their own tools - that's what matters.

i don't like this website because its to much reading

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