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SilverlightShow Interview with Tim Huckaby - Keynote Speaker at Visual Studio Live! Las Vegas 5-day Conference

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Silverlight Show
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0 comments   /   posted on Mar 05, 2012
Tags:   user-experience , visual-studio-live , tim-huckaby
Categories:   General , Interviews

In this SilverlightShow interview, we talk with Tim Huckaby – keynote speaker on the 3rd day of Visual Studio Live! Las Vegas conference (March 26-30, 2012). The keynote will be focused on The Future of User Experience: The Natural User Interface (NUI).
As we have announced, SilverlightShow is the
Social Media Premiere Partner for this conference and we are sending one SilverlightShow member to this conference for free.

About Tim: Tim Huckaby is focused on the Natural User Interface (NUI)- Touch, Gesture, and Neural in Rich Client Technologies like HTML5, Silverlight, WPF, & IOS on a broad spectrum of devices that include computers, tablets, the Surface, the Kinect, and mobile devices.

Tim has been called a “Pioneer of the Smart Client Revolution” by the press. Tim has been awarded many times for the highest rated technical presentations and keynotes for Microsoft and many other technology conferences around the world. Tim is consistently rated in the top 10% of all speakers at these events. Having worked for or with Microsoft for over 20 years, Tim has been on stage with, and done numerous keynote demos for many Microsoft executives including Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.

Tim founded InterKnowlogy, experts in .NET and Microsoft Platforms in 1999 and Actus Interactive Software in 2011 and has over 30 years of experience including serving on a Microsoft product team as a development lead on an architecture team on a Server Product. Tim is a Microsoft Regional Director, a Microsoft MVP and serves on many Microsoft councils and boards like the Microsoft .NET Partner Advisory Council.

SilverlightShow: Hi Tim! Your upcoming keynote at Visual Studio Live!Las Vegas is one of the most awaited ones, according to the conference organizers. What aspect or direction of development of Natural User Experience (NUI) is currently important for developers, what’s bringing them to your keynote?

TH: Well, thanks for the kind words. Clearly the conference organizers are friends of mine. I really am looking forward to doing this keynote for numerous reasons. Firstly, because I will strive to make the message clear: You may not be doing natural user interfaces in your software solutions now, but you will be. It’s just a matter of time. I reinforce that with demos of some of the most compelling NUI software out there. And then I will speculate about the future of NUI with more compelling use cases. I bring it back to reality by going through the past 30 years of user interfaces. I was there when the mouse came out. I remember thinking how unnatural is was to take my right hand off the keyboard and grab the mouse. Now we consider that second nature. I will argue that in a timely manner we’ll say the same thing about waving at software…using simple gestures to manipulate the interface.

SilverlightShow: What are the main difficulties developers have when building NUI in their applications, and how will the technology evolve to allow easier creation and integration of such interfaces?

TH: Great question. I find it so interesting that the challenges of NUI software are not as much technical as they are of usability. Let’s face it. CRUD applications are simply not a good use case for NUI. Nothing that I know of can produce text as quickly as a keyboard. So finding the right use cases for touching, or gesturing or voice controlled software is the real challenge. It’s also very interesting to me that Microsoft has pretty much dominated and paved the way for multi-touch support in .NET for years. Yet, it wasn’t until that magically expensive Apple device to make multi-touch a mainstream way to use software. Now with the Kinect for Windows SDK shipping we have an extremely powerful and compelling dev stack for NUI based applications.

SilverlightShow: NUI is already available in Win8, mobile platforms, Kinect and others. On which platforms do you think it will have the biggest potential to evolve, to become a standard, and push related innovations?

TH: Let’s add Windows 7 in all forms, and the Microsoft Surface to your list. And then we can say on the Microsoft and IOS platforms we will have multi-touch covered end to end. What I tell developers is that from here on in you are going to get multi-touch capability in the hardware whether you want it or not. So, now is the time to start leveraging it. Kinect clearly is an awesome differentiator on the Microsoft side. But, what is most exciting to me, and is really not well known, is that the HTML5 spec calls for multi-touch capability and programmatic access. In that respect the Multi-touch part of NUI truly can be called a standard.

SilverlightShow: Can you name 1 or 2 applications that are best using NUI at this current moment, and why?

TH: Well, let’s be clear. I’m a Kinect fanatic. I have not seen anything so powerful and cool from Microsoft in years. So, that being said, the work we do in health care and life sciences is truly futuristic cool because of the complexity, the 3d, and the gesture and voice controlled interfaces with Kinect. I’ll be demoing a good number of these apps in my keynote. On the other side of the spectrum of Kinect is simple gesture based interfaces to control an interactive kiosk. In many environments, especially in a public place you do not want to touch anything. So a simple wave of the right hand from right to left is a very legitimate use case for next. An important part of my professional life right now is interactive kiosk and active digital signage solutions, and with Actus Interactive software we plan to rock that world. In fact, we already are.

SilverlightShow: How do you see the future of NUI? In which areas of life should we also expect to see NUIs very soon?

TH: In the keynote I will talk about the future. And I will show off some of the innovative work that is being done now for the future of NUI. It’s high tech stuff: it’s holodeck like software and it’s neural interfaces to software. Imagine a world where you think at software to use it. it’s not so far in the future. And Microsoft research is already doing proofs of concepts in totally virtual environments. Crazy exciting stuff.

SilverlightShow: How and where may conference attendees meet you during the conference?

TH: I just love talking to technologists… not just developers, but everyone involved in the computing lifecycle. So, it is absolutely my pleasure to hang out and talk to as many VSLive attendees as possible.

Thanks Tim for this interview! Wish you, as well as our free pass winner a great conference event!

Do you know about applications that give an outstanding example of successful use of Natural User Interfaces? Share it with us by commenting below this interview!



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