Daily Dose of iQ: Microsoft Predicts Future Technology (with video)

Oct 27, 2011 — Allan Pulga

Microsoft released a new conceptual video (embedded below) showing its ideas on how people will use future technology in work and in their everyday lives.

The video incorporates a lot of touchscreen and gesture-based controls -- things many of us are familiar with through our use of smartphones, tablets, video games and from the seminal 2002 futuristic thriller, Minority Report.

It's also reminiscent of the video Corning put out earlier this year, called "A Day Made of Glass."

I sat down with iQmetrix UI/UX Architect Chris Nicol to pick his brain about Microsoft's vision for future technology.

What is your initial reaction to this video?

"My first reaction is just simply excitement: excitement for what’s coming in the future and excitement for being able to be a part of shaping that future with iQmetrix," says Nicol. "After that, I focus on the simplicity of the design and the ability to move and adapt information from one form factor to the next.  It’s really quite slick!"

Is this really feasible? I mean, the family (skip to 5:18) would have to spend 40 grand on hardware in a single year to do everything they’re doing in the video…

"Absolutely, this and much more," says Chris. "I think the analogy of flight is an interesting one in this case, it was in 1903 that Orville Wright piloted the 'Flyer.' 

"If you were to approach the Wright brothers back then and start talking about jet fighters and planes that can carry 581 people they would have looked at you like you just came from outer space. Yet only 36 years later the Heinkel He 178 made the first turbo jet flight and since then it’s been proven that the sky is not the limit.

"If you take the old bag phones as the equivalent of the Wright brothers’ Flyer and the first iPhone as the Heinkel He 178, then you can see that the future is going to bring some pretty amazing advances in the mobile devices that we’re going to interact with and also the impact they will have on our lives. The best part is that we’re innovating at a much more accelerated rate."

"As for the cost, well I’m sure when the first passenger planes were being discussed people would have thrown out the potentially huge costs of a flight across the Atlantic as a road block to mass adoption. However, we now take for granted the low costs of flights, just a few weeks ago I flew to London, England and back for $879. I also doubt many people would admit to be willing to pay $800 for a phone, however, we’re into the hundreds of millions that have forked out that kind of money in one way or another for their smart phone."

Takeaway points from the video?

"In terms of design, my big takeaway from the video is simplicity. The clean, clear design is both practical for productivity and gorgeous to look at. 

"In terms of technology, I think the main takeaway is that these 'smart' devices are only going to get smarter and more integrated into our lives. 

"Leaving the philosophical conversations of privacy and dependency for another day, the future is going to provide some amazing technology that is going to make our lives easier and let us stay more focused on what is important to us."

Topics: Wireless Trends, Mobile Industry, Customer Experience

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