Applied Future Prediction : User Interfaces

I want to applause with four hands that I don’t have the speaker in this video.

Dennis Wixon (Microsoft Surface) brings in this video an approach to predicting the future of any technology.

His field of expertise is Human Machine Interaction, but the scientific approach he uses to foresee the coming technologies is really universal.

Select a field, look deeply at the evolutions in the past that brought to the the present situation.

Extract features of each evolution, take a step back and from this extract the essence: an innovation pattern, that step by step lead to different models.

It pulls my esteem for Microsoft a little higher to see such a pertinent perception can exist at Microsoft.


Dennis Wixon | UX Week 2008 | Adaptive Path from Adaptive Path on Vimeo.

A key lesson in this speech, is the Digital Equipment Company story. From number 2 after IBM the company crashed to being virtually nothing due to a lack of vision.

This same illness is soon going to hit Ebay to death for sure (unless someone clever pops in suddenly ans shakes that all) transforming them into Paypal only. And how long will Paypal sit down and wait for their turn since it’s the same creative people…

More surprisingly but assuredly later, Google may not remain forever warmly seated on a fluffy throne. They are either not deeply understanding what makes them successful or they are seriously good at hiding their strategic research projects. Google is successful now because it provides the best results to people’s requests, that’s where it all begins. In a nutshell, it is the best CURRENT user experience. Is that however the best possible online information search experience that one can achieve with the current hardware? ASSUREDLY NOT. Is Google heading there aggressively? Well, frankly I wish I knew but that’s the one billion dollar question that will draw the path for their future.

The constance of any person or enterprise in a successful and comfortable position reflects the constance of their efforts to stay up there. The illusion that past efforts are sufficient to ensure sustainable comfort is simply not compatible with long-term success.

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