Many people think of fully immersive gaming when they think of virtual reality – or even an alternative, virtual universe or existence. However, despite virtual reality’s Hollywood portrayals – like the Holodeck on the USS Enterprise – in reality VR is not quite that advanced. And, while it certainly does offer extraordinary gaming possibilities, it holds many more practical applications, too.
Sadly, you can’t simply slip on a VR visor, lay back, and be whisked away to a virtual universe. However, it is possible to “enter” a virtual world with the correct technology, like that produced by Oculus VR.
Virtual Reality Gaming
Virtual reality gaming is still in its infancy, largely because of the incredibly expensive technology required to make it possible. Therefore, at the moment, it is not widely available to the masses.
Continue reading “The Future of Virtual Reality”
This week, Altia sponsored the 5th Annual Automotive Cockpit HMI2014 Conference in Frankfurt, Germany. The goal for the event was to get all the great automotive OEMs and suppliers together in one spot for deep-dive discussion about the challenges that automotive companies are facing with regard to HMI — and there are quite a few!
Not only is the automotive cockpit a battleground for brand differentiation, but the user experience has to be spot on. Not only do the various user interfaces in the car need to be functional while limiting driver distraction, but now need to interface with mobile devices and — in the not so distant future — with other vehicles!
With a guest list that includes experts from Fiat, Renault, BMW, Garmin and other leading automotive companies, we expected some truly exciting conversation — and we couldn’t wait to get a report from the road. So we asked Mike Juran, Altia’s CEO to share his impressions of the event.
Here goes… Continue reading “Altia CEO’s Top Three Observations from IQPC Automotive Cockpit HMI2014”
User interface, or UI, describes the way in which a human interacts with a machine. Though technically something as simple as a light switch could be considered an instrument of UI, most modern references relate to computers and other electronic devices.
UI makes the exchange between users and machines possible. Without it, this vital form of communication ceases to exist.
There are four prevalent types of user interface and each has a range of advantages and disadvantages:
- Command Line Interface
- Menu-driven Interface
- Graphical User Interface
- Touchscreen Graphical User Interface
Continue reading “Exploring the UI Universe: Different Types of UI”
Renowned for their cutting edge technology products, Apple is constantly raising the bar when it comes to innovation, keeping fans consistently happy with the introduction of new products and new features. To maintain its presence at the top of the consumer electronics food chain, Apple’s R&D department has been busily filing patents to protect new ideas.
Siri Gesture and Siri Integrated to Macs
One of the latest patents for Apple is for the new double circular motion that brings up Siri. The patent relates to the introduction of, and use of, Siri on the desktop and other devices.
The patent is cleverly worded, not just to cover the use of the circular motion on the Apple Magic Mouse, but to incorporate all Apple devices that contain a touch-sensitive surface, including touchscreen graphical user interfaces.
So, whether on a touchscreen or a touch-sensitive peripheral, such as the Apple Magic Trackpad, users can easily call up Siri to aid them in their tasks. Additionally, this new patent describes how performing the Siri call gesture near or in an editing, writing, or mail app will allow Siri to help understand the context of user commands.
Continue reading “Apple’s Most Intriguing New Patents”
The launch of a new Apple iPhone naturally causes a great deal of excitement and speculation among Apple fans and smartphone enthusiasts. The promise of the exciting features — like improved haptic feedback technology — has enthusiasts virtually salivating with anticipation.
Some of the new features rumoured to be coming to the iPhone 6 include an enhanced camera and increased internal storage capacity. According to numerous industry experts, though, the introduction of advanced haptic technology is going to be the unique selling point and must-have feature of the latest of the Apple phones.
So, What is Haptic Technology?
Also known as tactile feedback technology, this feature communicates with the end user via touch, motion, and vibration. In the case of smartphones, such as Apple iPhones, with their state-of-the-art touch screen GUIs, the inclusion of haptics provides differing levels and rhythms of vibration, depending on the scenario and application. For example, when you activate an app or tap or swipe the screen to activate a control with cutting-edge haptics on board, the phone will vibrate slightly, possibly with the vibrations localized to the point of contact. This replaces the tactile response you would normally get when depressing an actual button.
Haptic technology emits different vibrations for different actions so, once you become familiar with your device, you understand what each vibration type means. Additionally, haptic technology is employed within certain apps and games, giving differing responses for movement, activation, pausing, menu options, and more.
Continue reading “iPhone 6: Rumors of Cutting-Edge Haptic Feedback”
Automotive Cockpit HMI2014 is just a few weeks away!
Altia will join BMW, Renault, Garmin and other automotive leaders for discussions about critical topics in HMI design and development — like automated drive, multi-modal HMI, connectivity, driver distraction and usability.
Mike Juran, Altia CEO, will present “The Economics of a Successful Automotive HMI – from Today to 2025.” He will sharehis insights into the state of advanced infotainment, the value of 3D and HUD and the future of automotive HMI design. Continue reading “Altia to Speak at Automotive Cockpit HMI2014 in Germany”
The graphical user interface is a crucial element of any electronic device in the modern era. The user interface is the component that allows humans to interact with their devices, from coffee machines to high-tech computers and state-of-the-art medical devices. However, not all user interfaces are equal. Some are much more successful than others. The key to a high quality user interface lays in the design, and there are a number of cardinal rules to take into account to help you achieve the best possible graphical user interface.
- Keep it Simple
Although it sounds obvious, a simple user interface is the key to success. Avoid cluttering the interface with excessive buttons, tabs, and extraneous elements. Before taking the plunge and adding any element to the interface, ask yourself whether it is truly necessary. If it isn’t critical to the function of a specific screen, leave it out. Only add elements that provide benefits to your users.
- Stay Concise
When attempting to keep an interface simple, some designers are tempted to explain every little thing, often in the form of pop-ups or dialog boxes. This increases data mass, which in turn, can slow down your UI rapidly AND overwhelm the user.
While it may be necessary and beneficial to explain something to the user, keep it short and to the point, without excessive verbiage. Remember that the point of a user interface is to allow someone to interact with a device. Therefore, they shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time reading usability information. In the fast-paced digital age, people lack patience, and every second matters to them. Continue reading “8 Cardinal Rules of Successful UI Design”
Will Restaurant Diners Find Touchscreen Service Appetizing?
At some restaurants, the days of waiting impatiently for a server to take your order or bring your bill are over. The introduction of touchscreen service has a range of benefits, both for the customer and the restaurants that are making the move into high-tech service. These graphical user interfaces come in a variety of styles and sizes designed to enhance dining experiences.
Benefits for Diners
Businesses can choose to present their diners with touchscreen GUIs in a range of sizes, from full-size e-table models that are essentially entire touchscreen table tops, to smaller, mobile screens and bar-top or table-side small screens.
E-tables provide an engaging dining experience for customers, allowing them to browse the menu and place their orders at their leisure. Additionally, some models feature “Chef Cams” that allow diners to watch the kitchen prepare their meals. Some offer internet connectivity that enables users to browse the web, check email, or update their social media accounts. Networked models allow diners to send e-cards to other tables, as well as share photos. For an extra novelty factor, diners can choose their own virtual tablecloths.
Continue reading “Will Restaurant Diners Find Touchscreen Service Appetizing?”
Cadlog to Provide Altia’s GUI Editor and Code Generation Software to Companies Developing Embedded Graphics
Altia Incorporated today announced the signing of Cadlog Srl as a distributor of the Altia GUI development tool kit for companies in Italy and Spain. With this new partnership, the Cadlog team can now deliver Altia’s advanced user interface development capabilities to companies developing embedded graphics for their products.
Continue reading “Altia Signs Cadlog as Distributor for Graphical User Interface Development Software in Italy and Spain”