Natural User Interface (NUI) September 2021

Technological innovation has rapidly evolved in the last decade. Natural user interface  (NUI) is a trend that has been around for quite some time but is constantly evolving. NUI is a shift in the way computer interfaces are designed and operate. It refers to an interface that is invisible to the user, but can still be used with subsequent learned interactions that are consistent with our natural movements. NUI relies on a user being able to carry out natural motions, gestures, voice commands, and movement that they quickly discover controls the computer application or manipulate the on-screen content (Think of Marvel’s Iron Man and JARVIS). 

NUI technology mainly focuses on basic human interactions such as vision, touch, speech, handwriting, motion, as well as cognition, creation, and exploration to increase interactions between the physical and digital world. Designers of NUIs create experiences that feel natural, like an extension of their bodies. 

There are many ways to utilize NUI, depending on the purpose and the user’s needs. Here are some that you currently might know of:

  • Touch screen, multi-touch gestures, and haptic interfaces is those used on smartwatches, smartphones and tablets
  • Speech recognition and conversational interfaces, is that used by Siri and other digital assistants
  • Camera as a seeing eye, is that used by Google Translate, which allows you to point your camera to text and translate it
  • Augmented reality

An example of an advanced NUI is Kinect, a Microsoft motion sensor add-on for the Xbox 360 gaming console. It provides an interface that allows users to interact intuitively, without any intermediary device, such as a controller, using body movements. More advanced examples include Skinput, a new interface technology that allows users to use their arm and hands as a touchscreen by detecting ultra low-frequency sounds produced when tapping different parts of the skin, without having to lug around their electronic device such as a phone. 

Natural user interface will not only make life easier for us, but it will also benefit people with disabilities to have virtually unlimited access to information, entertainment, and communication.  Additionally, NUI can enhance the Sudanese educational system by creating immersion in the learning environment.  It would create an adaptive learning environment that responds as the learner interacts with it and provides educational tools for people with disabilities, such as text commands. All of this is beneficial as the future of education moves towards digitization.

September Journal

  1. We were excited to sit with Ashraf Mizo, Founder of Nayla Prosthetics, a Sudanese social project that bridges the accessibility gap of prosthetics in developing countries by creating affordable and high-utility prosthetic limbs.

Find out about Ashraf’s experience with Nayla, and how they are extensively maximizing socio-economic opportunities for the Sudanese amputee community by creating social change through design and technology

To see the interview check out our Facebook page and Youtube channel 

  1. We are excited to announce “Strange fruit”, the first solo exhibition by artist and art teacher Alsadg Mahmoud. The exhibition curated by The Muse multi studios, opens at Savannah Innovation Labs on October 2nd and continues till October 9th from 6-10pm.

“Strange fruit” is highly influenced by the song holding the same name  – written and composed by Abel Meeropol and recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939 – Alsadg interprets the song into his work as originally it protests the lynching of Black Americans with lyrics that compare the victims to the fruit of trees. Similarly, Alsadig sees texts that have paved the way for the collection “Strange Fruit”, the most important of which are “Jedria” by Mahmoud Darwish, “Syria” by Salim Barakat, and what the texts have brought from visual images as an objective equivalent that he draws inspiration from to his contemporary present through his expressive language.

Time: from 2 October to 9 October from 6-10pm

To attend the exhibition RSVP through the link to get your ticket and make sure to read the guidelines.

Suggestion of the Month

In continuation on our topic, Natural User Interface this month we highly recommend the FT Tech Desk podcast available on Apple podcast , which talks about the future of NUI and the software giant’s approach to research and development.    

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