What is the common similarity between three leading products of the year: the iPad, KINECTS and Android? The technology blends into the background and users can only feel the simplicity. Display replaces the keyboard and joystick; gestures make choosing menus and clicking buttons much easier. If the trend from 2010 continues, this year we will see further simplification of high-tech devices that can be used immediately by everyone.
The iPad has dominated the tablet market with a simple idea: borrow a system originally designed for music players and Smartphone’s. And it works! Point with your index finger and slide one or two fingers on the screen: everyone knows how to use iPad without having to open the instruction manual or waste time with complicated configuration menus. As the result, competitors were looking for ways to respond accordingly, Samsung, Toshiba and others have called Android to the rescue.
Nintendo’s Wii has led the way: you can play a game with simple gestures, an exciting way to further immerse yourself into the thick of the action. It was simple enough for competitors to take up the idea. Sony launched its PlayStation Move with Motion Sensor and joystick equipped with accelerometers and gyroscopes. Microsoft does better: it removes controllers altogether. The KINECTS can reproduce player’s gestures on the screen without requiring players to wear or use a device, a development that may open new possibilities in the industry field and daily uses, such as for controlling household appliances, from TV to curtain. Motion detection may soon be used on Smartphone’s, which is one step up from the touchscreen display.
Although Smartphone’s have been around for nearly a decade, the year 2010 has brought new advances on these mobile devices. Smartphone’s can now work more effectively as productivity (email, web browser, calendar, GPS), and entertainment (music and video player, game console, camera) devices, they supplement or in some cases replace traditional computers. Powered by IOS (iPhone), Android (Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericsson, LG), Microsoft (HTC, Samsung, LG), Symbian (Nokia), WebOS (Palm) and Blackberry OS (BlackBerry), each provides many functions that could not be implemented well three or four years ago.
These are three things that may further simplify user experiences in 2011:
1. 3D technology without glasses
Full 3D TV will not be ready in 2011, due to lack of content, few compatible devices and immature technology. Fortunately, auto stereoscopic technology begins to show some promises. Toshiba may launch its glassless 3D TV in 2011 and the same is true for the Nintendo 3DS.
2. Online TV
Certainly, several television services have offered access to the Internet for stock quotes, weather and video on demand. But in 2011, better integrated TV services likes the HbbTV (Hybrid Broadband Broadcast TV), will provide interactive services to all compatible televisions.
3. Color electronic ink
The success of digital tablets wowed many people and it can become a medium of choice for distributing digitized books and journals. They may display colored text and images, well, but can be difficult to read under the sun. Electronic ink, on the other hand, imitates the clarity of printed materials without back-lighting. Some systems make it possible to display thousands of colors with electronic ink.