It all started with a Macintosh ad: 'You too can be a knowledge worker.' This is the story of Brian Thomas' 15-year odyssey at the helm of one of the strangest pieces of multimedia software ever created — If Monks Had Macs.
The next frontier in human-computer interaction will be all about making you feel the virtual, digital world as though it were real and tangible. And haptics, a technology that's advanced at a snail's pace over the past 40 years, is the key to making that happen.
Multi-touch hardware and software company Ideum is exploring a potential future for the workplace in which traditional desks give way to projected capacitive touch tables that you use with both hand gestures and tangible objects.
That pounding in your chest when the action gets really intense in a video game or movie takes on a new dimension with the KOR-FX 4DFX, an adjustable and lightweight vest that translates audio into subtle vibrations that are meant to help you feel where explosions occur and gunshots comes from – or simply to better enjoy your favorite music.
Some games just suck when you play them with touch-screen controls. Your fingers and thumbs constantly block your view, and there’s nothing tangible for them to brush up against — so you’re never really sure that you’re pressing in the right place. Not all games suffer from this malady, of course — indeed, many excel with taps and gestures. But console-style experiences in particular never feel right without physical buttons and joysticks.
Space Quest. Day of the Tentacle. Gabriel Knight. Monkey Island. To gamers of a certain age, the mere names evoke an entire world of gaming, now largely lost.
Graphic adventure games struggle to find success in today's market, but once upon a time they topped sales charts year after year. The genre shot to the top of computer gaming in the latter half of the 1980s, then suffered an equally precipitous fall a decade later...