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Ces: The Future of Interfaces

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People are no longer limited to interacting with computers via the mouse and keyboard due to the emergence of mobile computing, according to speakers participating in a panel on the future of the human-computer interface at the Consumer Electronics Show. The panelists say new applications are driving new interfaces—smartphones with touchscreens, voice-controlled automotive entertainment systems, and motion-based game controllers. They say the challenge for interface designers is to establish a common grammar for these systems to enable users to move seamlessly from device to device without having to learn to operate each one individually.

As for the future, the panelists say application designers might have to consider taking into account contextual shifts between different interfaces on the same device. Such an approach would allow a smartphone's navigation app with a touch-based interface to switch to voice-based input and output when a user starts driving a car, possibly via the vehicle's built-in hands-free phone system. The panelists note that mind-controlled computers are still a long way off.

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