Feeds

MS to probe human-computer interface

Research team mobilised

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Microsoft has set up a new research group in Cambridge to look into ways of improving human-computer interaction.

It says that an approach combining hardware engineering with psychology and sociology will lead to better ways for people to interact with technology. The aim, a worthy one, is to make the process more intuitive and straightforward.

The research programme will focus on five areas within what it calls the "human-centred dimensions of computing and communication": ubiquitous computing; modes of interaction; device design and evaluation; mobile communication and media futures; and comparative research methods in Human Computer Interfaces.

Researchers will look into all the strands of an interaction with a computer: from the social and psychological to the technological aspects. They are also going to look into correlation between digital and physical entities: i.e. how a web browser works, and whether it has a counterpart in the physical world.

Could this put an end to the desire to throw misbehaving technology out of tall buildings? Maybe they could work on making those automated phone systems even slightly less annoying...the possibilities are almost endless when you look at all the ways in which humans and computers interact badly.

Ken Wood, the senior researcher heading up the new Interactive Systems Group, cites SMS as a rare example of good human-computer interaction, and says the goal of the research is to find something that hits the so-called interaction sweet-spot in a similar way. ®

Related stories

Students warm to Wi-Fi interaction
Nokia makes stealth moves on your living room
Japanese deploy bi-lingual talking PDA

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
Who wants to be there as history is made at the launch of our LOHAN space project?
Two places available in the chase plane above the desert
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.