Page 1

somras Your Monday morning cuppa HFI buzz!

April 20 2009

User Experience in 2050

The company could soon be strangled in a lawsuit as the virus

Somras had invited short stories on this theme a couple of

will compel this cerebral implants to compromise the primary

weeks ago. The canvas was left blank. The style was yours to

condition on which they were allowed for commercial use –

choose – fact, fiction, fantasy. And some of our staff really let

‘The interface should not be allowed to think on behalf of its

their creativity unwind. From wanderings in the idyllic Ram


Rajya days to visitor-friendly Bengaluru to the outbreak of a deadly virus affecting the cerebral-implanted computer… here

Adding to the soap opera is public outrage and protests due to

are visions of what today’s usability professionals foresee

rumors floating around that this could be a yet another rogue

tomorrow’s user experience to be.

marketing campaign by the automobile and cell phone industry, which is witnessing a dead end with introduction of

Win42/Deepthought.worm Outbreak Alert

telepresence, a feature made possible by Cerebral implants.


Automobile sales have been dwindling as telepresence has 20 April 2050

rendered traveling obsolete.

Citizens world wide are advised against googling any

The cells know it all

objects labeled


‘Golgafrinchans’. Doing so has millions of users worldwide

Omnipresent accessibility, seamless integration and natural

infected with the Deep thought

interfaces will define the user experience in 2050. The

Virus with several users even

metamorphosis of a phone into a web browser, a music

facing what was once called

player, an organizer, a camera and a video player is already

Blue Screen of Death.

complete. Here's my vision of what cell phones will be in 2050.

The virus exploits security venerability in the Pre-think™ technology of Microsoft Windows Cerebra Home Platinum

In another 41 years, we shall

Premium Plus™ edition. Pre-think is the technology that helps

find cell phones everywhere

the cerebral implanted computer to know what the user is

around us. Everyone will have

going to think about. Which makes virtually everything

one and data/voice rates will


be rock bottom too. The end user experience – remember

Symptoms of infection alarmingly vary from victim to victim,

the digital watches in 80s

often depending on victim’s personality. Some of the early

when everyone had about 10?

symptoms of this virus are where the cerebral implanted

That's how phones will be -

computer starts sending 50 year old Santa and Banta jokes to

Dirt Cheap. Everyone will

the auditory canal. On sporadic incidents users have also

have several, each accessible Kadam th

Illustration by Shantashree

complained hearing spoilers of climax of to be released 25

over the same cell phone

sequel of The Matrix, sending unsuspecting victims into a

number. On some day one may want to wear a cell phone

state of trauma and self denial.

integrated with a watch, on someone may wear one integrated in a necklace.

As a terminal development of the infection many users are found in a suspended animation where the infected computer

Cell phones would be integrated with services everywhere

overrides perception of needs. For instance the computer

and the means of interactions would be natural. Imagine a

makes the user believe s/he has already had coffee before

necklace that changes color to show state: red for unread

they think about having a coffee.

emails, blue for a voicemail, etc. One would interact with it via voice, gestures, even body movements like flick of the wrist.

Mean while this drama has left the Redmond Company red faced as it advertised Pre-think™ technology as the best thing

Integrated services would redefine interaction. Consider this,

since Self-Opening Clamshell packaging.

I’m out and the phone tells me that two of my friends are


April 20 2009

having a cup of coffee right by the corner of my attorney's office. It could on my command sync with their calendars and let them know of my wish to catch up with them. On my way to catch up with them, my phone already orders a white chocolate mocha pays for the same directly via my account. All I actually do is pick up my coffee, meet my friends and talk. It would even click a photograph of this brief rendezvous and post it on my blog with an interesting discussion on the world economy that we had.

Illustration by Pallavi Jadhav world. It was green everywhere and the air was clean. The "Go Green" campaign started for environment protection in the later part of the 20th Century had borne fruit. There was now clean water for everyone, clean air to breathe. Nature had returned to its majestic best. I was amazed, puzzled, intrigued. I decided to make the most of this. First thing I needed was a camera, to capture these sights, but did not know how or where to find a store. I leaned on a tree lost in thought about what to do next when Illustration by Shantashree Kadam

a laser screen projected in front of me instructing me to select what I was looking for. I could not make out what was

I also expect the cell phones to be powered by mechanisms

happening. When I turned around, I realized that the tree

that charge the phone when shaken in hand or bounced on

was called a "Help Tree." During my stay, I noticed several

the floor. Bored of a phone and think you have already used

of these "Help Trees" that were actually a guide to visitors

up its value? Toss it in the river where it would disintegrate to

about what they can find where.

its organic constituents in a couple of days. I found a store. As soon as I selected the store, the path to it Note: This is story is based on already available/ in research

was illuminated, helping me reach there with no difficulty. I


bought a camera the size of my palm. The camera was quite something in itself. It allowed for scaling the LCD

Kyunki...Tulsi kabhi boodhi nahi hogi

screen. And on further using the camera, I noted that it


prompted me when there were interesting sights around.

When I stumbled upon a circular object while walking on a

All this stunned me and left me gaping with wonder. It was

street one day, I had no idea it would have such an impact on

unbelievable. I decided its best to go with the flow and enjoy

me. It was the FutureDial, a dial that lets one select any year

it rather than stay stunned at the experience and probably

in the future and live in it as long as one wishes. Of course, I

miss out on any of these lovely surprises.

had no idea this was the case until I positioned the dial at 2050. I was instantly transported to a whole new place, time

Now I needed a hotel to stay in, so I used the Help Tree to

and environment. An experience that's etched in my mind for

locate one. On reaching it, I requested for a room. A paper


form was given to me. On filling my name, it auto filled my entire details on the LCD Screen located on the desk. In the

It was a pleasant morning in Bangalore, the IT capital of the


April 20 2009

signing area, I had to provide my finger print. Finger Print? This day and age? I was surprised but nevertheless, did give it and asked for the keys. The pleasant doorman informed me that the door to my room would open up when I am in front of it. I wouldnot need keys. And yes, it did. But how? The finger print actually didnot record my finger print but my DNA. The DNA sensor at the door matched both and opened the door when I was in front of it. Fantastic. Now I had a place to stay, I decided explore this wonder world further. I walked into a "Transport Store" as it was called but it was nothing but a Shoe Store. When I enquired, I was told politely that the Shoes fuelled by Solar energy worked as individual vehicles, with the needed controls in them. It gained speed as you walked and with a bit of training, you could go up to speeds you desire. Incredible, yet true!

Illustration by Shantashree Kadam

Here people spoke in a strange voice. I learnt that it was a

Extreme WiFi and Miniaturization: I live in a small hut

digitized version of human speech - so encoded that the

deep inside the forest. By then all products will have shrunk

ones intended to hear it would be the only ones to hear it

to miniature size and so I will not need a big house for my

and understand it - no matter how far they are. And when

accommodation. There will be wifi connectivity beyond

one wanted to send a large parcel to a distant land, it was

broadband such that I can live and be anywhere in the world.

put in what looked like a Shredder. The screen above allowed the sender to put in the address. Once done, it

Musion® Eyeliner™: No traffic congestion and pollution as

shredded the large parcel into minute particles, only to be re

the body will be transported electromagnetically or at least

-assembled at the destination automatically.

with the help of two way real time hologram I am virtually there where I just think I want to be.

Further, I saw a child talking to its grandfather who was in a different city, both connected through the internet. What was

Cloud Computing: The Google sort of will be in air, I just

so amazing about this? The child held his grandfather's hand

ASK and get a answer back like Bhavishyavani, I don’t need

while they spoke.

to carry any specific gadget.

All this was incomprehensible, like I was in a magic land.

Energy: I will be able to use sun light, wind, water flow, my

With fairies and their wands working their magic all through.

body temperature to power all the devices around me.

And then I saw the unbelievable, the greatest magic of them

Is it extreme to say I would not need any product in specific

all. I happened to switch on the Television and there I saw

form as I will be able to create and use things I need from

Tulsi in Kyunki Saas bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. With not a single

surrounding with such Scattered Technology.

strand of white hair on her head. “Technology everywhere, Experience everywhere.”

Idylls of the interface B Y R ISHI M ATHUR , M UMBAI

Yours, automatically B Y A DITI K ULKARNI , M UMBAI

While thinking about interface and technology in 2050, I started walking back in time, taking clues from mythological

Although it's tempting to say the world may end due to easily

stories and the great grand Ramayana. What I wish is that

accessible nuclear materials, let's ignore that ending

technology advances to that great a level that it takes my

(however inevitable it is). They (pseudo-scientists) say that

experience back to the idyllic days of Lord Ram – the Ram

the mere fact that I have predicted it reduces the probability


of it actually happening to zero.


April 20 2009

2050 will be an age of automatic everything. I know it sounds cliché, but please read on: Interfaces will be seamlessly

With nothing to do and starving for emotional diet once

integrated everywhere. Scientists will have finally figured out

again, he decided to go to the parlor. The receptionist

how the brain works (completely) and a continuous stream of

greeted him and explained the working of the machine. Once

entertainment will make sure human minds are eternally

turned on, the user can think of his favorite incident that he


would like to play again. The machine would then reconstruct

There will be no torrent search, no illegal internet downloads, no discussions of which movie you like and why, no blogs, no websites, and no reviews. Artificial intelligence will understand what you like and create and deliver it simultaneously, a stream of everything you ever wanted to consume. Google should own everything by then, and will have turned into a mega-huge corporation that scans your brain for ideas on the next big product. A typical virtual day would be: I log out of my office application and login to my personal web-space which entertains me until the next day when I have to login to office again. Sleeping is reduced since I consume very little

Illustration by Shantashree Kadam

physical energy. My social needs are satisfied with the appropriate entertainment streams. No one is unhappy

the event using images stored in the user’s mind. It could

because everyone gets whatever they want, whenever they

also replay a collage of other events in which the other

want, and there is no energy crisis since nobody has to actually travel anywhere.

actors associated with an event were present. The user would see the collage as floating images, from which he can then select any particular image to replay the incident

It's all really convenient for everyone.


Memory parlor

machine. Starting from his childhood days, he glided from


one incident to the other, feeling a rush of emotions in his

It was the night of 31st December 2049. The whole world

veins, just like a snowboard surfer, surfing down the hill.

Excited, he quickly got himself wired up and started the

was mad celebrating the arrival of New Year. He however, had nowhere to go - no friends, no family. So he did what he

He lost track of how much time passed in this journey of the

always did. He switched on his laptop to check his emails

past – the ocean of memory was overwhelming. Suddenly,

and chat with some of his colleagues who lived a life almost

the images went blank and there was total darkness. He

similar to him. Alone, aloof, productive employees –

heard somebody calling his name. It was the receptionist.

connected due to their disconnection.

She said, “Excuse me sir, but your mobile has been ringing several times, since the past one hour.”

Suddenly, his eyes caught hold of an email which said, “Memory Parlor: Revisit that dusty trail in your mind”. The

He received the call. It was his boss. “Where have you been

email was an ad of a product describing a machine, which

since the 31st evening? It’s 3rd January 2050, the industry is

would allow the user to re-project the images and events

on the verge of depression - an emotional downturn!”

stored in his mind. We would love it if you contributed movie / food / book reviews, news stories, photographs or any other fun stuff/happenings to Your comments and feedback are also welcome..

Somras 20 April 2009  

20 April 2009

Somras 20 April 2009  

20 April 2009