Microsoft and the Natural User Interface Mash Up

Mary Jo Foley is reporting that Microsoft is taking its Natural-User-Interface and not segmenting it to just touch, or just multi-touch, or just a stylus, or just speech, but kind of mashing it up together for future projects. As she puts it, “Microsoft is working on interfaces that will combine natural-input techniques.”

Apparently this info was talked about at last week’s Financial Anaylst Meeting and Mary Jo relates this quote from Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer.


“When people talk about a natural user interface, you know, we talk about handwriting and touch and speech and these things, but this is what a natural user interface is really going to be all about. And it won’t be just your receptionist. I mean, you should be able to come to computers and interact with them in a much more natural way, to ask questions, have them respond to you to do tasks that are valuable to you. And I think this is just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s the first example built in a completely new way using these robotics technologies that we brought to the market two years ago. And so this isn’t really about just programming arms that assemble cars in the factory or making things that run around hospital floors, this is in many ways the beginning of building very complex interactive applications.”

This came after a demo of an automated front-desk receptionist that Microsoft plans on deploying internally this year.

Mary Jo admits, like I think many do, that she is old fashioned when it comes to interacting with a computer and that she likes a keyboard. As for me, I say bring on the NHI revolution. What about you?