Interacting With The Wall

One of the investment themes I’m intrigued with is human computer interaction (HCI).  I believe that in 20 years the notion of typing on a keyboard and moving a mouse around will seem quaint.  If you are skeptical about this, remember that punch cards were all the rage a mere 35 years ago when IBM came out with a new 96 column format, our good friend the IBM 3270 came out in 1972, and the ubiquitous VT100 came out in 1978.

If you are in NY and walking down 14th Street near Union Square today, you’ll see is simple example of what I mean by HCI.  Adobe has an ad up on the wall of the Virgin Megastore that is interactive.  The wall is 7 feet by 15 feet and while it’s a marketing campaign (vs. a functioning UI), it’s a colorful example of some interesting things that are coming – and fast.

  • Brad, yeah that kinda stuff is cool and stimulating. I bought my iPhone part because I’m a gadget geek, but mostly because I want to experience the interface. In just 2 weeks I cam constantly reaching for my laptop screen and trying to tap buttons or “stretch” images. Suddenly I’m frustrated with an interface that I’ve been happy with for a decade.

    You’ll like this thing I saw on Engadget this morning: out of MIT… a wall of water that acts like a building sized printer and “interacts” with passers by:


  • The most important “novel” HCI work is being done at ITP here at NYU (IMHO). Come out for the next public show (I believe it’s in the late fall). I’ve attended SIGCHIs and BAYCHIs, participated in Stanford’s HCI and DSchool courses, toured IDEO, toured CMU’s HCII, toured MIT’s Media Lab, and I really believe that ITP is pushing the envelope on innovative interfaces more so than any other program or organization. Definitely worth your time.

  • I was walking through the mall yesterday and there were some kids playing with a projection on the floor. They were able to kick and squish balls, the projector on the ceiling interpreting their movements.

    Pretty rad, as we said in the 80s about Atari.

  • Jason

    I think you saw a “Reactor” by Reactrix. Check out This is actually a Mobius deal that Heidi Roizen led and I help out from time to time. It’s very cool technology and definitely rad.