Feeds

MS to probe human-computer interface

Research team mobilised

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.