Apr 4, 2009

Put-That-There: Voice and Gesture at the Graphics Interface and more Blasts from the 1980's HCI Past

bigkif's information about "Put-That-There" about Put-That-There gives a good description of this video:

Put-That-There at CHI '84

"In 1980, Richard A. Bolt from MIT wrote Put-that-there : voice and gesture at the graphics interface. It was a pioneering multimodal application that combined speech and gesture recognition.

This demo shows users commanding simple shapes about a large-screen graphics display surface. Because voice can be augmented with simultaneous pointing, the free usage of pronouns becomes possible, with a corresponding gain in naturalness and economy of expression. Conversely, gesture aided by voice gains precision in its power to reference."

Richard A. Bolt "Put-That-There": Voice and Gesture at the Graphics Interface
(pdf) SIGGRAPH '80

Here is another blast from the '80's:

Kankaanpaa A. FIDS- AFlat-Panel Interactive Display System IEEE March 1988 IEEE Computer Graphics Applications(Nokia Information Systems)

"Although the needs and expectations of these various users are very diverse, they all have a common requirement: more natural and easier methods for communicating with the computer than are available today. Furthermore, they do not want to interact with the computer; they want to communicate with the application they are using. They do not want to use computer jargon; they want to use the same natural methods that they use when they perform the same tasks without a computer."

“We believe that only three of the flat-panel technologies described above, namely LCD, EL, and plasma, will be sufficiently advanced for mass production within this decade.”

Bill Buxton was working on multi-touch and gesture interaction in the 1980's, but his dreams did not become a reality until this century, for a variety of reasons. He shared his thoughts about the paradox of the speed of technology in a presentation at the 2008 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference:Surface and Tangible Computing, and the “Small” Matter of People and Design”(pdf)

‘Carrying on from an earlier thesis in our department (Mehta , 1982) , we built a tablet that was sensitive to simultaneous touches at multiple locations, and with the ability to sense the degree of each touch independently (Lee, Buxton & Smith, 1984). We stopped the work in late 1984 when I saw a much better implementation at Bell Labs – one that was transparent and mounted over a CRT. The problem was that they never released the technology, so, the whole multi-touch venture went dormant for 20 years. But, I never stopped dreaming about it. (Lesson: don’t stop your research just because someone else is way ahead of you. It might be transitory, and anyhow, remember the story of the tortoise and the hare.)

“I spoke earlier about the paradox in the speed of technology development it goes at rocket speed, but that of a glacier as well; Simultaneously! In the perfect world, this would be ideal: we could go through several iterations of ideas so that by the time the new paradigms of interaction, such as Surface and Tangible computing are ready for prime time, everything will be in place. But, the rapid iteration is more directed at supporting the old paradigms faster and cheaper, rather then helping shape the new ones. The reasons are not hard to understand. From the perspective of circuit design, the problems are really hard. So, one has to have one’s head down working flat out to get anything done. But, there is a side of me that motivated this paper that asks, If it is so hard, then isn’t it worth making sure that the things one is working on are things that are worthy of one’s hard-earned skills?”


Bill Buxton's Haptic Input References

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