Levels of Separation

The camera closes in on a slowly rotating device. A perfectly manicured hand arrives to lift the phone gently. Then, another hand enters the frame and extracts a stylus. What happened to the future?

Our interfaces have evolved from punched paper cards to gestural three-dimensional controllers. Each significant step forward occurred for the same reason: it eliminated unnecessary extensions between the user and the interface.

Companies that don’t innovate are addicted to features and gizmos. If they’re going to truly invent and simplify people’s lives, it’s going to be by bringing users even closer to the interface, not by reintroducing separation.