Feeds

MS to probe human-computer interface

Research team mobilised

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.