Authors: David Wortley, Oliver Goh
This paper looks at the key human factor drivers which influence technology trends in games, virtual worlds and Social Networking applications and draws the conclusion that these technologies are influencing the intimacy of the relationship between users and technology. It identifies a number of characteristics which consumers of these technologies are influenced by and consequently shapes the way in which technology is being shaped by market forces. It is the “Immersive Experience” applications which best reflect these trends. The key attributes are identified and explored in more detail to illustrate the impact on technology innovation which then permeates across many other “non-entertainment” applications.
The characteristics so identified and explored include :-
• Intelligent personalisation of the user interface and application behaviour in line with the user/player abilities and preferences
• Persistence and development of user profile data within and across applications
• Usability, easy to access and intuitive interfaces using haptic and ambient devices
• Surprise, novelty and focus on self-directed discovery
• Data visualisation to support understanding and comprehension
• Challenges and rewards to motivate and develop capability
• Personal expression and creativity
An analysis of these key characteristics illustrates that we are demanding a more personal and intimate relationship with technology, not just in games, virtual worlds and social networks, but across many other aspects of our lives. The paper will illustrate this permeation of technology drivers and how they influence the development and delivery of new products and services which provide continually evolving competitive edge. It will describe some of the possible application areas where these trends might have an impact, including smart building applications which go beyond tools to manage energy and ambient and intelligent edutainment outside the home, including such areas as in-flight entertainment systems of the future.