November 13, 2007

Your interface blows (literally)

While we’re waiting for Photoshop to connect with Martian ocular implants, researchers have been busy building crafty new interface tech.  Photoshop engineer John Peterson writes, "Some folks at the Georgia Institute of Technology have
found a way to do cursor control/selection by blowing on the
screen. The amazing part is it needs no extra hardware, they just
use the microphone already built in to your laptop."  Check out the video, as well as the team’s research paper (PDF).

Apparently others have had the same idea.  Photoshop UI designer Julie Meridian reports, "The Nintendo DS has a built-in microphone and does something similar for
games, like WarioWare Touched! where the goals are things like blowing
up balloons, flying a kite, etc."  And we’ve joked about enabling blowing on natural media simulations in order to do things like moving or drying ink.

Elsewhere on the New UI front, Bryan Hughes points out that all new Volkswagens are due to get touch screens.  If I ever upgrade my Jetta (damn 1.8 mi commute making that unlikely), maybe I can look forward to doing an iPhone style pinch to zoom in on a map–as I zoom into a ravine.

Posted by John Nack at 6:20 PM on November 13, 2007


  • Jim Monaco — 7:12 PM on November 13, 2007

    And the funny thing is, I’d submitted a feature request for Bride a week or so ago in which I’d talked about changes I’d like to see in the interface. I see my rss notifier pop up (which shows my incoming gmail as well as feeds), and I’m like…Ooh. Ok. Guess not.
    That was a really neat video (GaTech is my Alma Mater, gives me the warm fuzzies to see cool stuff from there). That kind of interface would be completely amazing for a number of Adobe products. There’s certainly some potential there for drawing–imagine the wind filter with this kind of interface :D
    It would be really cool for playing with physics, too–animating in Flash and AE, for example.
    And I can’t believe they didn’t demo musical instruments in there. How about mixing that into Audition to control attributes? :)
    At the very least it looks like one uber-cool toy.

  • theturninggate — 9:50 PM on November 13, 2007

    Related, this game over at the Experimental Gameplay Project has been out for a while and also depends upon blowing or clapping into the microphone for input.

  • Marcelo Wolfgang — 4:25 AM on November 14, 2007

    Not 100% related to this post, but since you are talking interfaces for CS4 and onwards
    One thing I really like to see, is a unified interface, something like this.
    Get the photoshop interface, and make us able to change the product ( example: to illustrator ) when we click on the Ps on the top of the tools
    So I can edit whatever I was editing without have to copy and paste and all that hassle
    So basically I will have an Adobe app, with it’s front interface changing depending on the program I’m using
    The benefits i see if you do this is that it will use less space, memory, and user time
    and this will be the final suite integration you will ever do, since it will all be one program
    I can stop smiling with the simplicity it will be while working in flash, change to photoshop to work in a image and then back to flash
    I’m sure that developing wise what I’m asking is that you should almost redevelop all the apps, but well it’s an idea.
    And this move will also unifies text editing, and other stuffs that are different between apps

  • BWJones — 12:21 PM on November 14, 2007

    1.8 miles!!! Get on a bike dude.
    [I am; why do you think I can’t justify getting a new ride? :-) –J.]

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