It’s been almost thirty years since Steve Jobs visited Xerox PARC and saw the prototype for the GUI. That paradigm worked so well that it has been around ever since succeeding numerous generations of hardware and graphics processors.
Perhaps the main reason that today’s GUI has had such staying power is that it works but also, there has been little demand for radical change because our business processes have stayed relatively unchanged. But if you wait long enough change happens. In this case, the demand for what a GUI does is changing and may at some future date make it irrelevant.
A GUI works well in a decent size screen environment where you have access to pointing and positioning devices, but what happens when everything compresses as it does with mobile devices?
Many of us have some experience with thumb typing and other efforts to use the micro screen like it was a computer. It’s not pretty. Apple realized this a while ago when it incorporated voice processing into its iPhone and who knows where that will go?
Perhaps voice recognition is another example of the personalization of IT. Voice interfaces have been around for decades but they’ve been clunky and not always reliable. For the best results many also need training and that means, the voice recognition becomes the computer equivalent of a one man dog. That’s all slowly changing.
Today two companies, EasyAsk and BrainSell announced an agreement to deliver EasyAsk Business Edition for SugarCRM with a voice interface. So in the not too distant future you might see road warriors and C-types talking to their mobile devices like Dick Tracy.
Don’t laugh. The iPod form factor could support a wrist watch-like device format. But wrist watches are not good at supporting GUIs and holograms (as long as we’re speculating) have their own drawbacks for pointing and clicking. Voice recognition makes sense as an important piece of a future puzzle, if you ask me. To get all the details visit this link.
The PR makes reference to the IBM Watson-like natural language interface used by the all time Jeopardy! winning computer. IBM has been knocking at the front door of the front office lately and it would not surprise me if there’s more to come. And with a good natural language interface, the company might have quite a differentiator.
*NOTE: The Dave reference is to 2001 A Space Odyssey. Some times I am too obscure.