When we discuss Zero User Interface (UI) the mind normally turns towards the increasing use of voice or gesture controls.
As the likes of Alexa become common features in the home, we will start to see less use for common input methods such as our trusted mouse and keyboard or touch screens.
However moving to voice does not in reality lead to Zero UI, but an evolution (or revolution) of user interface designing. One that moves from visual design to acoustic design and will open up a whole new field.
The reality is that while we may not move to Zero UI, there are thousands of examples where the UI is being removed entirely.
This quiet revolution has been happening in the area of connectivity and the internet of things.
A great example is the world of utility meters. 10 years ago it was not uncommon for electricity and gas meter readings to be recorded in pen and paper to be later input when the meter reader sent his paperwork onto the office. Fast forward a few years and the interface for input became tablet applications so the data was captured and transmitted at the point of the meter reading.
With the advent of smart meters the entire requirement for data input (and therefore a user interface) has been removed. Service providers now automatically transmit the data from your meter to their back-end systems – measuring, analysing and reporting along the way.
Across industries or sectors we are seeing devices with direct internet connectivity that removes the need for middle processes and the interfaces we needed either to collect or input data. This is a world where hardware developments (sensors, smart batteries and connected products) is merged with accessible software solutions.
This is not just limited to physical items but the increasing trend for connectivity is further promoted in new software development where open API’s are now considered the norm.
Gone are the days where you extracted data from your CMS to then import it into a CRM. We now expect seamless integration even when the products are not part of the same platform.
Moreover, the introduction of an even faster always on internet service through 5G, enables more powerful interconnected devices collecting and processing data, without any user interaction.
Zero UI maybe the dream, but no UI is fast becoming a reality as the march of connectivity and integration picks up pace.If you would like to discuss more about our offering in connected services contacts us at email@example.com
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