Interaction is a tried and true method for engaging audiences. It’s always been true for magic shows and it’s becoming a new truth for contemporary media, which now regularly encourages viewers to tweet, tag, or text. This direct input gains another level when it’s through a touchscreen, which simulates the physical manipulation of words, images, and videos. Touchscreens make everything so much simpler and faster that even children can navigate phones and tablets. They have become so popular as to have made they’re way into classrooms, with smart boards, and also on the dashboards of new car models.
The marriage of cars and new technology seems to be a logical step for, well, car makers and tech companies alike. One such example is Google’s Open Automotive Alliance, which partners a multitude of technology companies with car brands like Subaru, Ford, Jeep, and Honda. It’s goal is to implement Android platforms in cars, through dashboard screen displays, which certainly make cars an attractive choice to those who rely on constant Internet connectivity. Even police cars are updating to new touchscreen capabilities, as they reduce technological clutter in the front seat.
But are interactive screens the beginning of the end for interactive models? Many of these touchscreen panels offer voice control, necessary considering touch screens require sight to operate, a safety-hazard for drivers. This may be the dawn of new hands-free technology. The ever-ambitious Google is developing a self-driven car. A driver tells the car where to go, and the tiny electric vehicle navigates itself to the destination. It is a marvel of interactive technology, reminiscent of an advanced version of Siri (although where Siri is concerned, miscommunication is the norm). Cars are typically very hands-on, needing lessons and practice and tests to operate them, but with direct voice control, all a “driver” needs is to know how to speak. Televisions are similarly progressing to voice command, with no need for remotes or touch screens.
Keeping these technological advances in mind, it could be ventured that the term “interaction” is changing just as much as the new mediums through which it operates. ‘Simpler’ has become the motivation behind advances in interactive technologies, and appears to promise extraordinary and effortless future connections.