In consumer electronics, interface may well be the next buzzword, according to a University of Wisconsin researcher. “The TVs all get turned on, the right pieces all get turned on and aimed at each other,” explains Professor Greg Vanderheiden of the Trace Research and Development Center at UW Madison. “So that, instead of trying to control devices to do what you want, you just say what you want. and the devices automatically configure themselves to work the way you'd like.”
Vanderheiden says people may eventually control TVs and other electronics from personal handheld devices. “Not only that, but they could use the same control on different TV sets in different rooms of the house. Or even if come over to your house, they can use the same control that they're used to using at their house, and it will control your devices in the same simple fashion that they're used to.”
Vanderheiden, interviewed at the weekend's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this weekend, says interface has become more important to manufacturers. As differences in picture quality between expensive and inexpensive televisions diminish, makers are looking at ease of interface as the newest way to set their brand apart.. The Trace Center works on ways to make everyday technologies more usable and accessible.