To me, claiming that Pictures Under Glass is the future of interaction is like claiming that black-and-white is the future of photography. It’s obviously a transitional technology. And the sooner we transition, the better.
With an entire body at your command, do you seriously think the Future Of Interaction should be a single finger?
— Bret Victor (2011) “A brief rant on the future of interaction”
I don’t think I have much more to add to this excellent article, even if unfortunately he’s downplaying a bit too much touch interfaces that are really here at consumer level since a few years ago.
To his point, I’d add that I don’t expect things like bendable devices, the kind of interactions that I expect in the future aren’t about making strange things to objects in order to perform arbitrary actions. If I pull something, I expect it to grow, or get longer, or open, not surely do some action on the screen.
As I often stated, the limit of today’s computing is in input-output, and even more in reality while we have lots of outputs (mouse, keyboard, touch, wiimote, camera, etc) we have very few inputs. When they ask me what screen I do want, I answer “I want as many pixel as possible”. The reason is simple: stand up now, make a few steps backward, and have a look the percentage of your field of vision that’s taken by the computer screen, compared to the whole space you’re in.
That’s also why another field I’m interested in is the internet of things: because it’s a way to make everything around you an input/output device that could interact with any part of your body… and maybe your mind as well.