Design of New Media Interfaces

S. Joy Mountford, Apple Advanced Technologies Group

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University May 12, 1993


This presentation will highlight work that is under development in the Human Interface Group at Apple's Advanced Technology Group. Joy will demonstrate all these types of technologies fully integrated into a multi-media presentation system. Multi-media is a technology trend anticipated to be pervasive as well as easy to use in future computer systems. A number of application areas are beginning to use multi-media, namely education and training. However, the biggest challenge is how to design new applications with usable interfaces for everyday people. What will users want to do with this new media? Video, sound and animation all offer possibilities of creating interesting and useful interfaces but they are difficult to design well. What is entertaining in the early stages of working with an interface can easily become irritating with frequent use. The key is to put the power of multi-media into the hands of all types of users so they can create different applications using these newer data types. Joy will show some new interface developments being developed for potential future QuickTime releases. The current QuickTime interfaces were designed by Joy's group to enable users to compose digital movies inside traditional documents using direct manipulation techniques. Future directions for this work will be demonstrated, such as the ability to visually sort hierarchically within a VideoDisk and how to generate special effects such as transitions and titling on the desktop. The next step is to allow users the ability to actually film and store their own content on a computer using a camera as a peripheral. Joy will show some 'navigable movies' and 'navigable objects' as part of a "Virtual Palace" under user control, which allows interactive changes in the user's point of view within an entire scene. This creates a new gendre of interactivity and shows an exciting future for dynamic media interfaces. In addition to new media interface trends, Joy will demonstrate additional prototypes in the areas of portability, sound and 3D. All of these prototypes will show the evolution of interface designs and their iteration based on user feedback.


Joy has been the manager of the Human Interface Group within the Advanced Technology Group for about six years. Before joining Apple Joy worked at MCC, America's 5th generation computer consortium and prior to that she designed advanced user interfaces for military avionics systems at Honeywell. Her past research experience has focused on the best use of such technologies as speech recognition and speech generation, multiple axis controllers, stereographic displays, intelligent sy stems, and head-mounted display systems. At Apple her group is responsible for helping to extend the user interface. Her group's areas of interest include user assistance, speech interfaces, presentation of data across time, 3-D interfaces and multi-media navigation. Joy's graduate work was at the University of Illinois in Engineering Psychology, and her undergraduate work at University College, London.


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