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Natural User Interfaces

Enabling a digital system to recognize a range of different inputs enables the system to be adaptive and thus more easily fulfill the voter's needs.

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Creating an adaptable natural user interface could potentially offer a truly universally designed input system that can quickly adapt to the needs and abilities of the voter. People are used to moving naturally, obviously, and we can now use these actions as an input in the digital world.

If we could utilize these same actions that we are capable of doing in everyday life, whether they are arm movements or eye movements, or even thoughts, as an input method into a digital interface it would be very straight forward to use. The iPhone can provide testament to that. With some research and coding an adaptive system could easily be developed that would be able to recognize the abilities of the its users within seconds and accomodate a multitude of gestures as methods of input.

Consider a scenario: a voter enters a room with this system set up. They are then prompted visually and audibly to choose a selection type, and are subsequently shown the variety of options available. They then trace a figure 8, presented on a screen, with their gaze to signal that they would like to use eye tracking. Having selected eye-tracking, they are then presented, visually, with the set of candidates that they peruse in search of their favorite. Once found, they look at the candidate name and give two blinks to select it. A confirmation screen then appears; they confirm with the same gesture and the transaction is complete. 

Consider also, that Microsoft's Kinect already enables many of these actions and is but a small package. It includes a 3D camera to recognize the gestures, an RGB camera to recognize color and 4 microphones to discern who, among many, is actually speaking. There is already a Software Development Kit (SDK) available for it, as well as an open-source method for hacking it to be used in non-gaming activities. Hacking this readily available resource would be a great first step for developing a minimal viable product. 

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DeletedUser

I saw this on openFrameworks forum first time, this is super stellar idea. what I love most about it is how cost effective things like this can be. oF/processing/arduino are going to change the world indeed!

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DeletedUser

Agreed, with things like the lilipad arduino and groups like The Hacktory they are really taking off! It is intersting to see the types of projects that are being explored.

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