There are so many aspects to HCI that it’s really dizzying. As I move through my daily call schedule, I can find myself jumping from human instrumentation to neuro-physiological measurment to augmented reality to multi-touch interfaces in a matter of hours.
With this much diversity of technology, there comes a stunning array of historical perspectives. And, I find that when you bring together so many technically deep niches (that don’t necessarily know each other in their daily work), one of the most helpful things you can do is try to find some unique historical stories to tell.
As such, I’m extremely pleased to announce that Nimish Mehta will be speaking at Blur. Nimish is credited with creating the very first multi-touch interface…in 1982! We should all remember that it took 30 years (30!) for the mouse to become ubiquitous (created in 1965; ubiquitous in 1995 with the release of Windows 95). And, as we examine the history of multi-touch, we discover that it took somewhere around 25 years for multi-touch to move from creation to ubiquity (from Nimish’s work to the iPhone/iPod interface in 2007). In short, the adoption curve for HCI doesn’t seem to be shrinking radically over time.
That’s instructive. That means that we can now either A) argue as to why that curve will shorten over the coming years; or B) assume that adoption stays static, and that things invented in the past 10 years have 15 years to go until ubiquity. Either way, we can start to make assumptions regarding HCI adoption. In short, we can learn from history.
Nimish will be bringing his original video (he has to digitize the VHS tape in order to show it at Blur) to show the first multi-touch instance. It’s an important piece of HCI history, and an important perspective to have at Blur.