Emerging Technologies: An Exploration of Novel Interactive Technologies

Emerging Technologies: An Exploration of Novel Interactive Technologies

Ndubuisi Ukwuani (School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates) and Engie Bashir (School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
DOI: 10.4018/IJISSS.2017100103


The paper revises a collection of novel interactive technologies, known as post-WIMP. These technologies have been enormously cited in HCI research and recently adopted by enterprises to develop original applications in specific domain areas. The theoretical review of each technology includes a summary on what the technology is, how it works, how the user interacts with it, and in which domain areas it is being used. This paper also provides a critical comparison of these technologies using renowned models and usability criteria. However, this paper does not give a full description of the featured technologies rather it focuses more on their areas of application. Likewise, not all the upcoming technologies are discussed in this paper but most of the featured technologies fall within the “Trough of Disillusionment” and “Peak of Inflated Expectation” of the Gartner's 2015 hype cycle.
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Literature Review

The Windows, Icon, Menu, Pointer interaction has been dominant since the advent of Graphical User Interface (GUI) in the early 70’s (Jetter, 2013). The WIMP also known as point and click does not draw from our natural skills (Pettey & Meulen, 2012) instead the user only makes use of the pointing device (Mouse in most cases) to interact with the computer interface. As humans, we have acquired a lot of skills from our childhood, and there is need for a more advanced computer interaction that would take advantage of our innate abilities. According to Marentette and Cross (2010) this need has triggered the advent of Post-WIMP interaction, also known as natural user interfaces (NUI) or Perceptual User Interface (PUI). PUIs leverage humans’ natural ability to perceive and make sense in the surrounding environments. In other words, these interfaces make HCI resemble natural human to human interaction; thus, providing several advantages when compared to WIMPs. First, PUI allows a more natural and expressive model of dialogue. Secondly, it makes learning of the user interface unnecessary. Thirdly, it provides an interface that supports multiusers and multitasking simultaneously. Finally, it provides user centred interfaces not device centred.

Accordingly, many novel technologies that have evolved the ways that human interact with interfaces have been categorized as WIMP interfaces. The classification list of Post-WIMP includes Tangible User Interfaces (TUI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Ubiquitous computing (UBICOMP) and Wearable Technology (WT). Most of the interactions with these interfaces rely on haptic, known as the sense of touch or laying hold of objects in the surrounding environment (Haptic, n. d.). Therefore, haptic technology is an essential attribute for these emerging technologies and eventually would have major contributions in their respective advancements.

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