Hello, fellow humans of the world! We all use and love technology because without the gadgets we are so obsessed with, our life would've been a complete wreck (that is, if you consider waiting for the MRT trains without a screen to scroll through “a complete wreck”).
But, have you ever wondered what makes us want to adopt new gadgets with seemingly minor and sometimes negligible updates? I mean, can someone explain to me why iPhone 13 is a "better model" in comparison to iPhone 12? Now, don't get me wrong here, I'm IN NO WAY badmouthing us tech-crazy creatures, BUT I'm going to explain exactly what it is that makes our interaction with tech smoother and more refined as we progress through time and why and how this interaction (aka HCI or human-computer interaction) influences our decisions on a daily.
Human-computer interaction is research in the design and the use of computer technology, which focuses on the interfaces between people and computers. HCI researchers observe the ways humans interact with computers and design technologies that allow humans to interact with computers in novel ways. Human-computer Interaction plays a critical role in the development of gaming devices. By examining player characteristics, interactions during gameplay, and behavioral implications of gameplay, HCI professionals can help design and develop better devices.
The Two Perceived Goals of HCI
There are two goals that dictate the evaluation of HCI and, concurrently, how it is perceived:
a) Simulation: simulation games have been all the hype in the gaming industry since the beginning of time, and every kid in today’s time has had the chance to play a simulation game – racing or combat fight – at least once in their lifetime. And joysticks have been here since then to support our endeavors. Previously joysticks (e.g., Atari 2600) were the sole option available. Although they were a whole lot of fun to use, in terms of interactivity, it limited the scope of games to a certain extent (Pacman, more game examples?)
b) Virtual Reality: Improvements in HCI technology led to enhanced virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences by providing more natural and efficient ways for a user to interact with a real or virtual environment. And among all of our inventions, VR became the sole feature to permit us the most life-like experience.
The Goal Uncatered to
However, we learned that between these two goals of the most primitive and modern nature lies an array of smaller goals. Many people don’t prefer to use VR because it is still in its initial stages of development. It is inconvenient to use, hella expensive, and difficult to set up. But folks were still keen to step up their performance by overcoming the limitations of the joystick. So people started testing their hands at various other inventions in their own ways.
“Performance” implies better usability. Fundamentally, any device that gives you more access over control so that you can convert what you want to do to what you’re actually doing has better performance. Even though this goal of HCI is not highly focused on, this is one of the main aspects of HCI. If you want to get the job done, you have to get the computer to do it in the most accurate way possible. This aspect of HCI is relevant for most use cases. Take the mouse as an example. If you want to open a file, you need to move the mouse in more or less the same way you’d move your fingers to reach that area of the computer. The keyboard is similar yet different; while the mouse is used as a pointing device, the keyboard is used as an input device, where you have to be able to translate your commands to text to make them actionable.
Mankind has been working decades on combining these innovations into one device and therefore, stretch the limits to its maximum capability. It is safe to say we have made significant strides in that direction. Take the WRAEK Tactonic Pro as an example; we have combined the several goals of HCI mentioned in this blog and combined them into one device to bring something to the market that has never existed before. Stay tuned for the next blog to learn about one of the major features of the HCI-evolution and where we are today in terms of enhanced interactivity.
Can you think of any other goals of human-computer-interaction that we perhaps missed out on? If so, let us know your thoughts in the comments (or Twitter or Facebook and all our other social media channels?) Also, don’t forget us to follow on all our social media platforms if you want to stay updated with the latest discounts and happenings at WRAEK!
Co-edited by: Esha Sarkar