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October 22, 2008

Stoking the interface innovation fire

GLOBAL – Surely invisible interfaces that rely on our instincts, rather than pre-meditated physical interactions, are the holy grail when it comes to engaging with devices. Wouldn’t you agree? Okay, so we’re some way off that at the moment, although many would argue that we’re so well practiced at texting, inputing info and navigating menus that it’s second nature. But that’s the easy answer, and not the innovation-hungry attitude that’s required to push us to the next level when it comes to behaving unconsciously with mobile technology. Pushing this angle Nuance Communications has been announced as a company that will be working alongside Nokia on next generation predictive text and mobile interface solutions.

It promises to be a pretty interesting collaboration, because Nuance’s expertise is in stripping things back and simply making the way you interact with hardware, software and information feel more intuitive, as the company blurb highlights:

“Nuance Mobile Solutions are a combination of innovative products and services that use intelligent touch, speech and search interfaces to simplify and enhance the way people use mobile devices, applications and services. Nuance Mobile Solutions make it easier to control mobile devices, automate customer services, and to access and discover even the most advanced mobile applications and content – regardless of technical know-how, location, environment or physical and literacy capabilities.”

Lee Williams, Senior Vice President at Nokia today detailed the significance of the working with Nuance, and how it will increase the speed at which these innovations will manifest themselves:

“As a mobile industry pioneer, we’re continually bringing the best devices to market that not only capture our focus regarding design and leading edge technology, but that also meet the consumer’s need for innovative, easy-to-use solutions. By working closely with Nuance on leveraging their broad portfolio of mobile input solutions and to open up a framework for industry collaboration, we’re not only able to take advantage of their predictive text and speech software solutions, but also help in the creation of a vibrant ecosystem – one wherein the mobile applications and services of tomorrow can develop and flourish at a faster rate than otherwise possible.”

It’s also clear that Nuance is fired up by the prospect of pushing innovation and looking to shape fresh ways for us to engage with our devices as Steve Chambers, President of the Mobile and Consumer Services division at Nuance explains:

“The agreement with Nokia demonstrates the impact of our mobile and predictive text capabilities, and supports our broader vision of an Open Interface Framework that brings the mobile industry together in developing innovative, next-generation mobile solutions. Nuance and Nokia are working together to enhance the overall mobile user experience, offering consumers a simple, safe and convenient way to interact with mobile phones.”

Where do you feel the future of mobile interfaces lies? Touchscreens, talkscreens, good ol’ fashioned keypads and qwerty keyboards… or all of the above? Can there ever truly be a one-size-fits-all solution?

Photo from Elsie esq.