“Being Human” in cloud computing in the year 2020

In a recent Whitepaper, we highlighted that 80% of all computing will take place in the cloud by 2020 with most of these interactions originating from Smartphones and other wirelessly connected devices.

One interesting device being tested by the Microsoft Research Cambridge group is something called a cloud mouse, which is finding new ways to interact with virtual dedicated servers over the Internet.

“Given the resources of cloud computing,” says Richard Harper, a principal researcher with the Socio-Digital Systems group at Microsoft Research Cambridge, “a two-dimensional desktop layout is no longer sufficient to capture or convey rich, real-time relationships between data, people, schedules, or places. Cloud computing calls for new interaction metaphors, and these metaphors necessitate new input-output technologies.”

If you seen the movie Tron, Minority Report or Eagle Eye or used a virtual controller with an X-box game, you can immediately visualize some of the capabilities of this exciting beta project which has brought together 45 of the leading human-computer interaction (HCI) specialists in the world.

Here is one scenario they are working on:

“… Data is presented through handheld projectors or augmented eyeglasses, or displayed across multiple surface displays as 3-D visualizations. In terms of hardware, the Cloud Mouse is the key to this interactive experience.

When a user moves the Cloud Mouse through these data visualizations, differentiated sensory outputs such as vibrations or sound will alert users to locations where they can they can retrieve or view information, post or store information, or steer closer toward a target.”

If you watch the video attached to the article you will note how the mouse user is able to zoom into past and future events and tasks in a visual manner, almost like a video game.

In one demonstration, the controller drags a picture/video from one computer to another wireless connected device in real time. Very cool.

The ultimate goal of all this research project to find natural ways to interact with remote data in the cloud.

Data is being assembled into a set of reports, white papers and multimedia under the banner “Welcome to Being Human: Human-Computer Interaction in the Year 2020.”

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