Q: What is a “natural user interface”?
The term “natural user interface” is an emerging computer interaction methodology which focuses on human abilities such as touch, vision, voice, motion and higher cognitive functions such as expression, perception and recall. A natural user interface or “NUI” seeks to harness the power of a much wider breadth of communication modalities which leverage skills people gain through traditional physical interaction.
Much in the same way the graphical user interface (GUI) was a leap forward for computer users from command line interfaces, natural user interfaces in all of their various forms will become a common way we interact with computers. The ability for computers and human beings to interact in diverse and robust ways, tailored to the abilities and needs of an individual user, will release us from the current constraints of computing allowing for complex interaction with digital objects in our physical world.
We believe this shift must be defined in an open and communal fashion, one acting as a public resource to better our understanding of interaction modalities and interfaces, thus we ask for the community’s help in defining the “natural user interface” term and by contributing to the discussion.
Q: What is the NUI Foundation and the NUI Group Community?
Natural User Interface Foundation, or the NUI Foundation, was formed as a non-profit mutual benefit corporation which was created for the specific purpose of fostering an educational, industrial and scientific community focused on furthering NUI research efforts. Christian Moore originally founded the NUI Group Community in 2006, which acts as an online global community and resource for those who discuss, share and develop NUI technologies in an open, innovative and ethical way. This naturally led to the creation of the NUI Foundation by community members in 2009. Since the creation of the NUI Foundation, Mr. Moore has given his interest in the NUI Group to the Foundation so that it may be allowed to continue in a way that is truly for the public benefit and not usurped for commercial gain by any individual or single entity.
Roles and responsibilities of the NUI Foundation include:
- Defining a legal framework for joint projects collaboration and shared intellectual property.
- Develop and maintain an infrastructure for project fostering (development and deployment), including communication tools, hosting, statistics and organization of events, meetings and projects releases.
- Establish roadmaps for future projects, research areas and standards.
- Foster long-term collaboration with industry and education partners.
- Gather and allocate donations and funding towards existing and potential projects.
- Make available all knowledge and services needed for the implementation said activities (notably to open community, industrials, educational institutes, potential users and to all those interested in collaboration throughout the world.
- Promote the profile and visibility of its contributors in the research community, in order to attract new funding/projects from industrial collaborators, high-profile scientist and students.
- Serve as a global platform for its members to create and conduct open projects in research and education.
Many hardware and software vendors will have to cooperate in order for these technologies to blend into a solid user experience. In order for that cooperation to take place and blend all the multitude of talents working in this area, the NUI Foundation has been created to act as a catalyst for this emerging paradigm shift.
Q: How can society be empowered and enriched by open-developed and community driven hardware, software and standards?
Also we ask for your patience and support while we continue in the development of the foundation and will soon be publishing details such as bi-laws, structuring as well as sending out formal invites to contributing community members.