Product designer Billy May has created a concept for a next-generation mobile phone that solves the thorniest problem of today’s user interfaces — we all want unwired gadgets that fit in our pockets, but the easiest way for us to communicate is to type on keyboards that don’t fit on small screens. The gadget would combine two projectors and sensors to push web or video images up on a wall, with a light-based keyboard capturing your finger taps on any surrounding flat surface.
Damn, we want one.
The deeper issue is May’s brilliance illuminates how humans just can’t settle down on one communications interface. Isn’t it silly, if you think about it, how many options we have for typing at each other? We remain agog over every slight Apple tablet update, Facebook layout change, or Twitter usability improvement … yet our core means of transferring information remain sight and sound output and voice or touch input. The constant innovation around how people share information across vast distances, and carry around connections, means we haven’t solved the problem yet. We wonder if device interfaces will ever converge into one simple, master interface. If so, May be the closest answer yet.
Via Ben Malbon.