Tuesday, 17 March 2009

The Big Question of March: a Belgian/Indian/American two cents of a human/machine interface

Tony Karrer challenged us all with his Big Question for March, he asked how we see workplace learning in about ten years time. While I was searching for an additional comment that was not mentioned before by any of the other bloggers, I saw the movie underneath and .... the answer suddenly became very easy. (I am having a movie rush in my blogs lately.)

In the year 2019 the office space will look different because there will be an augmented human/machine interface bringing us closer to the internet of things.
Jay Cross embedded the Microsoft Office Labs vision of technology, but I would like to add a real life update to that vision.

To illustrate this future change, just take a look at this TEDtalk featuring Pattie Maes (a Belgian YEAH) and the genius Pranav Mistry.

For a more elaborate description of the Sixth Sense project, you can look at the website of this fluid interface. For me training departments will indeed still be there, someone has to be the content gatekeeper or building latest invention/usage tutorials that no one has build before, but the environment will be different (and at the same time, more natural).

So for me, workplace learning ten years from now will be based on:
  • human/machine interfaces (much more mobile);
  • mixed/added reality that enhances learning.


  1. I believe you're right on the money! Wasn't that video awesome? When they demonstrated using the surface of the hand to project phone numbers and made a call. ...blown away.

  2. hi Janet,
    Absolutely! Using your own body as a surface is just fantastic.

  3. Wow. Portable white board with internet possibilities. The learning potential, accessibility and mobility is amazing. Yet, I think I'm more interested in the interactive design and development environments that could be created from this.

    However, the part that messes with me is that earlier this morning I was playing with a silly idea for what would look like a character riding piggy-back. Using audio, linguistic and personality AI technologies it seemed like a fun way to have an interactive secretary/phone/GPS helper like in video games. Then I saw this and realized that the combination of ideas could make for something astounding. Audio-video input and output with personality could make for a more interesting and efficient reality. Life would be like a video game. :P I want one!

  4. Steven, that character riding piggy-back is just an awesomely great idea!