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Designing Gestural Interfaces by Dan Saffer

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Chapter 8. THE FUTURE OF INTERACTIVE GESTURES

"Tomorrow will give us something to think about."

Cicero

Predicting the future is a sucker's game. But there is far more to interactive gestures than check-in kiosks, towel dispensers, and the nearly ubiquitous demonstration of scaling and sorting photos! As prices decrease and the availability of these devices (and the tools to create them) increases, we will see more novel implementations of touchscreens everywhere.

Of course, this may not be an entirely good thing. As Chapter 1 pointed out, gestural interfaces shouldn't be used for everything: they are a poor choice, for instance, for heavy data input. But assuredly, we'll see them being used for activities for which they weren't meant to be used, as well as for applications for which we never expected to use them. Despite the long history of this technology, we're entering a time—an interesting and exciting time—much like the early days of the Web in the 1990s or the beginning of personal computing in the 1970s and 1980s, when experimentation and exploration are the norms, when we're still figuring out standards and best practices and what this technology can really do.

FUTURE TRENDS

It took about six years for the gestural system in Minority Report to move from science fiction to reality; what will the next six years bring? Here are my predictions.

WIDESPREAD ADOPTION IN THE HOME AND OFFICE

We've seen gestural interfaces in public spaces such as public restrooms, retail environments, ...

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