Times are definitely changing. This applies for almost everyone, from people living in various regimes around the world, business landscapes and to our beloved IM market.
Kinect was originally introduced for the Xbox, in order to make it (and gaming) appeal to a larger user base than the traditional hard core gamers. In IM space we see the same trend happening – a demand for a broader appeal to bring information from the BI professionals to the Information Worker or the masses. This week I had two business briefings on the topic “User Experience Matters” and several of the participants stated that this topic is high on their current radar. Why is that? It is my strong belief that UX is the most important factor (and barrier) when trying to reach further than the “usual suspects” in an organization. Nigel Pendse talked at one of our past Information Management Conferences about a pervasive factor of around 8% – Microsoft has a target (or rather a dream in the BI leadership team) of up to 80%. Going from 8 to 80% – then there is no doubt that the user interfaces in Business Intelligence solutions has to change to realize the dream. Apple and the iPad, broad the touch interface from the lab to the masses and therefore also a new type user interface (touch) to the user base we are targeting. These people are wondering why they have a natural user interface (NUI) at home but not at work (doing BI)? Windows 8 is expected to pick up this challenge and apply easy natural look-and-feel for the enterprise user. The first Windows 8 preview looks promising and appears very much like a fusion between the Metro design known from WindowsPhone 7 and some exciting Windows (OS) capabilities. Technology is not all – we need to change too! Yes, I’m talking about us IM or BI professionals. In a later blog I’ll write about how we can change in order to make the pervasive dream come true, or at least move in the direction of the dream:)
A closing remark on technology, Microsoft Research has released a SDK (Software developers Kit in beta) for Kinect for Windows. This will make us be able to leverage a natural user interface in our solutions for an additional cost of around $150! Hopefully we are able to have a playable sample of this and other new NUI at the coming IM2011 conference. Looking further ahead, this kind of new technologies will change the way we interact with our solutions. A very good example is “Stevie B” (Not the top guy at Microsoft, the one from Microsoft Research) in his video (skip to 5 min) where he magically makes small screen virtually larger from the way he looks at the screen.
Like the people living under different regimes in the world, we as well, can only expect the unexpected.