2010 Horizon.museum Short List

2010 Horizon.museum Report Short List pdf

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

Critical Challenges

Key Trends

Gesture-Based Computing

Time-to-Adoption: Four to Five Years
Devices that can accept multiple simultaneous inputs (like using two fingers on the Apple iPhone to zoom in or out) and gesture-based inputs like those used on the Nintendo Wii or Microsoft’s Project Natal have begun to change the way we interact with computers. We are seeing a gradual shift towards interfaces that adapt to — or are built for — humans and human gestures. The idea that natural, comfortable movements can be used to control computers is opening the way to a host of input devices that look and feel very different from the keyboard and mouse.

Gesture-based computing allows users to engage in virtual activities with motion and movement similar to what they would use in the real world. Content is manipulated intuitively, making it much easier to interact with, particularly for the very young or for those with poor motor control. The intuitive feel of gesture-based computing is leading to new kinds of teaching or training simulations that look, feel, and operate almost exactly like their real-world counterparts. Larger multi-touch displays support collaborative work, allowing multiple users to interact with content simultaneously, unlike a single-user mouse.

Relevance for Museum Education and Interpretation

  • Gesture-based computing will allow for much more intuitive ways for visitors to navigate content, especially image-based content.
  • Gesture-based computing will allow visitors to more intuitively understand the operational aesthetic of objects including: how objects function, how colors mix together, the stages in a multi-block print.
  • Gesture-based tools can be used to create educational games and virtual playgrounds that allow visitors to explore techniques, actions, and interactions in a playful manner.
  • Gesture-based tools can allow the very young, and, on the other end of the spectrum, the elderly and infirm to participate in activities and increase accessibility to collections.


For Further Reading

The Best Computer Interfaces: Past, Present, and Future
(Duncan Graham-Rowe, Technology Review, 6 April 2009.) This article discusses a variety of interfaces, including gesture-sensing, voice recognition, and multi-touch surfaces.

Why Desktop Touch Screens Don't Really Work Well For Humans
(Michael Arrington, The Washington Post, 12 October 2009.) Desktop touch screens are available but difficult to use over long periods. This article suggests another design approach.