Hey, Gesture Like This!

This new gesture-recognition technology from Leap Motionis amazing.”For the first time, you can control a computer in three dimension with your natural hand and finger movements.”

The closest yet to get us to the vision in the movie, Minority Report.

“Leap is more accurate than a mouse, as reliable as a keyboard, and more sensitive than a touchscreen.”

Scroll, pinpoint, pan, play, shoot, design, compose, fly–just about everything you do onscreen, but more in sync with how we generally interact with our environment and each other.

I like when the guy in the video reaches forward and the hands on the screen reach right back at him!

I’d be interested to see how this can be used to replace a keyboard for typing or will it be augmented by a really good voice recognition and natural language processing capability–then we would have an integration of the verbal and non-verbal communications cues.

In the future, add in the ability to read our facial expressions like from a robot and then we may have some real interaction going on mentally and perhaps dare I say it, even emotionally.

According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek (24 May 2012), the Leap is just the size of a “cigarette lighter that contains three tiny cameras inside” and costs just $70–“about half the price of a Kinect.”

The Leap is so sophisticated that it can “track all 10 of a user’s fingers and detect movements of less than one-hundredth of a millimeter.”

At their site, I see you can even preorder these now for estimated shipping at the end of the year.

I think I’ll put this on my holiday gift list. 😉

Computer, Read This

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In 2002, Tom Cruise waved his arms in swooping fashion to control his Pre-Crime fighting computer in Minority Report , and this was the tip of the iceberg when it comes to consumer interest in moving beyond the traditional keyboard, trackpads, and mice to control our technology. 

For example, there is the Ninetendo Wii and Microsoft Kinect in the gaming arena, where we control the technology with our physical motions rather than hand-held devices. And consumers seem to really like have a controller-free gaming system. The Kinect sold so quickly–at the rate of roughly 133,000 per day during the first three months–it earned the Guinness World Record for fastest selling consumer device. (Mashable, 9 March 2011),

Interacting with technology in varied and natural ways–outside the box–is not limited to just gestures, there are many more such as voice recognition, haptics, eye movements, telepathy, and more.

Gesture-driven–This is referred to as “spatial operating environments”–where cameras and sensors read our gestures and translate them into computer commands. Companies like Oblong Industries are developing a universal gesture-based language, so that we can communicate across computing platforms–“where you can walk up to any screen, anywhere in the world, gesture to it, and take control.” (Popular Science, August 2011)

Voice recognition–This is perhaps the most mature of the alternative technology control interfaces,and products like Dragon Naturally Speaking have become not only standard on many desktops, but also are embedded in many smartphones giving you the ability to do dictation, voice to text messaging, etc.

Haptics–This includes touchscreens with tactile sensations.For example, Tactus Technology is “developing keyboards and game controllers knobs [that actually] grow out of touchscreens as needed and then fade away,” and another company Senseg is making technology that produces feelings so users can feel vibrations, clicks, and textures and can use these for enhanced touchscreens control of their computers. (BusinessWeek, 20-26 June 2011)

Eye-tracking–For example, new Lenovo computers are using eye-tracking software by Tobii to control the browser and desktop applicationsincluding email and documents (CNET, 1 March 2011)

Telepathy–Tiny implantable chips to the brain, “the telepathy chip,” are being used to sense electrical activity in the nerve cells and thereby “control a cursor on a computer screen, operate electronic gadgets [e.g. television, light switch, etc.], or steer an electronic wheelchair.” (UK DailyMail, 3 Sept. 2009)

Clearly, consumers are not content to type away at keyboards and roll their mice…they want to interact with technology the way they do with other people.

It still seems a little way off for computers to understand us the way we really are and communicate.  For example, can a computer read non-verbal cues, which communication experts say is actually something like 70% of our communications?  Obviously, this hasn’t happened yet. But when the computer can read what I am really trying to say in all the ways that I am saying it, we will definitely have a much more interesting conversation going on.

(Source Photo: here)

>Subliminal Messages and Enterprise Architecture

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Subliminal message—“a signal or message embedded in another object, designed to pass below the normal limits of perception. These messages are indiscernible by the conscious mind, but allegedly affect the subconscious or deeper mind. Subliminal techniques have occasionally been used in advertising and propaganda; the purpose, effectiveness and frequency of such techniques is debated.” (Wikipedia)

50 years ago, a market researcher named James Vicary “announced that he had invented a way to make people buy things whether they wanted them or not” through subliminal advertising.

“He had tested the process at a New Jersey movie theater, where he had flashed the words ‘eat popcorn’ or ‘Coca-Cola’ on the screen every five seconds as the films played. The words came and went so fast—in three-thousandths of a second—that the audience didn’t know they’d seen them. Yet, sales of popcorn and Coke increased significantly.”

People who were afraid of the impact of subliminal messages or being brainwashed called them ‘merchandising hypnosis’ and ‘remote control of national thought’.

“In 1962, Mr. Vicary, in an interview, admitted that he had fabricated the results of the popcorn test to drum up business for his market-research firm. Subliminal ads were tossed into the invention junkyard.”

(Wall Street Journal, 5 November 2007)

Do subliminal messages work to change behavior?

Subconscious stimulus by single words is well established to be modestly effective in changing human behavior or emotions. However there is no strong evidence that messages in advertising can or have been used effectively.” (Wikipedia)

Whether or not, people can be made to purchases or consume things through subliminal advertising is unclear. However, subconscious words and cues do have an effect on human behavior. An example of the effectiveness of subliminal cues are reactions to non-verbal communications, such as facial expressions or body language.

Similarly, with unconscious communications, “research has shown that our conscious attention can attend to 5-9 items simultaneously. All other information is processed by the unconscious mind.” (Wikipedia)

So clearly, the subconscious mind receives, processes, and reacts to verbal and non-verbal stimuli.

In User-centric EA, it is critical to communicate effectively, so that users not only hear the messages (i.e. the target architecture, transition plan, strategic plan and so on), but that they listen to them and ultimately act on them. To effectively communicate, then, means using the spectrum of verbal and non-verbal communication.

While the notion of hypnotizing our stakeholders into being “willing” participants in the development of the EA, and in complying with it, is certainly appealing in a sort of warped, comical way, it is certainly not a serious option (oh shucks!). So while EA practitioners can not go out and put subliminal EA messages into the corporate TV broadcasts or insert encrypted EA messages in the company newsletter, EA should use a broad array of marketing and communication materials and outreach efforts to reach leaders, subject matter experts, and stakeholders to unite the enterprise and move the organization forward toward business and technology evolution to meet mission execution.

In the end, good communication with stakeholders is one of the most critical success factors of an EA program.