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April 4, 2008

Communicating with images

PALO ALTO, USA – In recent years user interfaces have become the pop stars of the consumer electronics realm.

Fact is, UI can define a product and elevate it to stardom, or destroy a device’s credibility mercilessly.

It goes without saying that imagery is a key ingredient for general UI, but when it comes to person-to-person communication interfaces it’s arguably less successful or well implemented. So, the Nokia Research Center is looking into new ways of enabling us to communicate more naturally and instinctively through the representation images:

“Our goal is to study the semantics, usage and serendipitous nature of this heterogeneous mix of information so that it can be presented to the user in an intuitive manner in the form of interactive visualization based services.”

Bit of a mouthful, but in short the focus is on creating a new form of visual language we can all instinctively use:

“The objectives of this research project is to develop new algorithms and user interfaces that enhance visual communication, while making it fast and easy to generate compelling content.”

The best user interfaces are surely the ones that you don’t notice. But do you even think about UI? Does it really matter to you, or is it all just smoke and mirrors?