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The Evolution of Human Computer Interface and Beyond

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By sachins
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The Evolution of Human Computer Interface and Beyond


1. Abstract 2
2. Introduction 3
3. Evolution of HCI 4
4. Important features and facts to ponder 5 4.1 Operating systems and their role in HCI 5 4.2 HCI in the making of a virtual reality 6

5. Glimpse towards the future of HCI 7 5.1 HCI for enhancing human life 7 5.2 Uses and Impacts of HCI 9

6. Conclusion 11
7. References 12


“HCI concept came into the spotlight after various researches; the improvement of GUIs paved the path for a better and advanced interaction between humans and computers.

Interaction with computers has become so close; it almost devoured the human life styles. Future human life will be much dependent upon technology than ever before.”


People live in a curious and modern world where they go to no lengths to embrace technology. It is people who pick and choose what to use more efficiently. HCI (Human Computer Interface) is one of the catalysts which revolutionised the computer technology to a greater extent during the past three decades.

HCI concept came into the spotlight after various researches which had been done on various universities and other research labs mainly across USA. But HCI took the centre stage after the rapid growth of GUI (Graphical User Interface) s. HCI revolutionised the computing technology and even laid the foundation for WWW (World Wide Web).

Evolution of HCI

The improvement of GUIs paved the path for a better and advanced interaction between humans and computers. According to website, “Human-computer interaction arose as a field from intertwined roots in computer graphics, operating systems, human factors, ergonomics, industrial engineering, cognitive psychology, and the systems part of computer science.”

Sited: 14/09/11

Thus introduction of personal computers have made the growth of HCIs more rapid. Following will briefly determine the gradual development of HCI via GUIs and other various interactions.

• Ivan Sutherland was the first to show direct manipulation of graphical objects via sketchpad, a system build at Lincoln labs. Apart from that William Newman's Reaction Handler, AMBIT/G system was among the pioneers of developing GUI which eventually aided in the evolution of HCI technology. Introduction of Xerox Star, Apple Lisa and Macintosh computers laid foundation for a speedy growth in HCI throughout the world. Distance between human and computer became much closer due to the emergence various GUIs and tactile technologies which had enabled a smoother interaction among the humans and computers. Also the inclusion of mouse as a tactile device which can interact with a computer GUI proved to be a revolutionized aspect in the evolution of HCI.

• Whenever since computer and its technology became household equipment, the interaction between human and computers had become a reality which not only belonged to IT professionals, but also for ordinary people. With the development of windows, a virtual place in the computer which people can interact, and applications included in the windows environment aided in improving far better interaction among people towards the computer. Gradually with the inclusion of applications such as drawing programs, word processing programs, spread sheets, etc. HCI became a normal routine in peoples’ life.

Important features and facts to ponder

Typically HCI mainly concerned about the design which interacts with the user. Over the past couple of decades, the usability has increased immensely, providing far better interaction between human and computers.

1 Operating systems and their role in HCI

Since the evolution of GUIs, the operating systems which GUIs built upon played a major role in dissolving the fact that GUI is only a virtual mirage. From typing commands to interacting with graphical objects on the screen, operating systems have been an essential instrument in HCI.

“From GUIs to multi-touch, speech to gesturing, the ways we interact with computers are diversifying as never before.”

Harper, Rodden, Rogers, Sellen (2008) Being Human: Human-Computer Interaction in the year 2020, 1st Edition, United Kingdom: Microsoft Research Ltd

Operating Systems which aided HCI, in brief

• Microsoft’s windows operating system platform was a pioneer in closing the gap between humans and computers via its graphically armoured operating systems. It has devoured the computers with its user friendly environment. Sooner GUI objects on the windows operating systems, which people interacted with clicking the mouse, became household names.

• With the growth of mobile computing, android, apple operating systems revolutionized the HCI via tangible interfaces. It closed the gap between human and computers, allowing a smoother interaction by the touch of a finger.

Thus operating systems played a vital role throughout the evolution, and will play a major role towards the future of HCI.

2 HCI in the making of a virtual reality

One of the salient features of HCI is the creation of a virtual world, which make day-to-day routines of humans much easier with a touch of a fingertip. From buying goods to paying bills, all are being done through virtual interfaces. Growth of HCI have overtaken most of the essential aspects of human life to its virtual reality, and made the living more comfortable.

Towards a Virtual Reality in Brief

“By 2020 more people than ever will be using computing devices of one form or other, be they a retiree in Japan, a schoolchild in Italy or a farmer in Africa.”

Harper, Rodden, Rogers, Sellen (2008) Being Human: Human-Computer Interaction in the year 2020, 1st Edition, United Kingdom: Microsoft Research Ltd

As scientists predicting, the whole world is going through a technological revolution, thus HCI will be a fact to ponder. Since the gap of human and computer interaction is getting closer day by day, people will glue to the virtual reality which is being created by HCI.

• Transformation in interaction between human and computer will make virtual reality a fact hard to resist. Computers will work upon the control of human eye; embedded computers in human bodies will calculate every aspect in human body interacting accordingly, which will results in closing the boundary between computers and humans towards a virtual reality.

• With the embedded computation, people will no longer have to depend upon interface stability, which will make a virtual reality wherever people step into. Combining of physical objects via digital information will make a virtual mirage in the lives of people, which is hard to resist.

Glimpse towards the future of HCI

1 HCI for enhancing human life

From point-and-click to tangible interfaces, HCI has come a long way during the past couple of decades. Human life style has altered accordingly to the changing technology, which has improved the quality of living up to certain extent. Interaction with computers has become so close; it almost devoured the human life styles, making them an essential aspect of living.

Future human life will be much dependent upon technology than ever before which will make the living comfortable. Since everything future human needs can be fulfilled with a simple interaction through a computer, it is obvious that the life style will improve.

“The interfaces of the future will use gesture recognition, speech recognition and generation, "intelligent agents," adaptive interfaces, video, and many other technologies now being investigated by research groups at universities and corporate labs”

Myers (1998) A Brief History of Human Computer Interaction Technology, 1st Edition, ACM interactions

• Embedding of bio-sensing devices will enhance the human health and hygiene, further preventing human from diseases.

• Computers will be embedded into furniture to clothes, making human life a digital dependant.

• Sophisticated computers and artificial intelligent devices will enhance human life by reducing workload of human beings and will even involve in complex procedures.

• Online learning will enable in compiling the knowledge of the whole world into every door step.

• Future of HCI will be so powerful; it will almost take over every aspect of human life. Interactions will be upon touch, eyes, gestures, etc. which will eventually turn human beings into semi-robots. Typical human will interact with thousands of computers per day, making a total virtual life. Robots and other intelligent devices will reign supremacy in the future upon many aspects.

• Creative engagement, social integration will reach its peak with the tight interaction between computers and humans. Since everyone is interconnected via embedded devices and other modes of HCIs, communication among others will be a matter of seconds.

2 Uses and Impacts of HCI


HCI will be used upon every possible aspect of the human life, and it will be varied from bio-sensing clothes to highly sophisticated computers.

“In future, a computer is more likely to be embedded in furniture, rooms, cars, doors, clothing, and packaging than in a recognisable ‘box’.”

Harper, Rodden, Rogers, Sellen (2008) Being Human: Human-Computer Interaction in the year 2020, 1st Edition, United Kingdom: Microsoft Research Ltd

• HCI will also be used upon people with physical disabilities to interact with computers according to their wish.

• Human brain waves will be used to interact with computers which will enable control over human emotions.

• With the use of high-bandwidth interactions, people will never feel left behind as interconnection among anyone will be a matter of seconds via embedded HCIs.

• Use of sixth sense devices where communication is done with hands, will grant people to access internet, check mail and do other related things everywhere on the earth.

Impact of HCI

Since whole world is going through a technological revolutionising period, the HCI will reach its peak. Thus there will be many impacts upon society.


• Considering about the society and human life, growth of HCI will enable a stress free life as computers will be doing more work and humans will be just giving orders.

• Whole world will be a one village as HCI will be interconnecting everyone on the plant. It will aid in spreading knowledge throughout the whole world.

• Human life expectancy rate will go up due to the growth of bio-sensing devices, which will involve in tracking human health and providing pre-warnings when they sense abnormality within the human body.


• Since future human will be fully interacted worldwide via embedded and other various kinds of computer technologies, the privacy of humans will be a threat to be ponder.

• People will face new kinds of health issues such as loss of vision, due to excessive hours of interaction with computers.

• Another drawback will be the humans’ sole dependency upon computers for every essential aspect of life. Since computers will be providing all the essential guidance and support, the creativity and the thinking capacity of mankind will fade away. Moreover, people will find it hard to survive without the interaction between computers in their daily routines, which will eventually develop human kind into semi-robots.


Considering all the facts, it is definite that HCI will revolutionise the whole world and the benefits which people can gain will be plenty. But not being too complacent, considering the drawbacks of the technology and mapping the technology accordingly will be the most appropriate thing to do.



1. Harper, Rodden, Rogers, Sellen (2008) Being Human: Human-Computer Interaction in the year 2020, 1st Edition, United Kingdom: Microsoft Research Ltd

2. Myers (1998) A Brief History of Human Computer Interaction Technology, 1st Edition, ACM interactions



Sited: 14/09/11

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