Mixed Reality is the New UI

Mixed reality is the hybrid version of real and virtual world, a universe with new visualizations and surroundings where co-existence and collaboration of physical matter and digital surroundings occurs in real-time. The time of flat UI is fading. The virtual immersive age of software technology requires 3D spaces for UI in which we live and move. An umbrella of user interface design has to be created which allows the mixed reality to connect with the real world.

Hardware and computer devices capabilities and constraints are used to define the human computer interaction. A 3D spatial interface needs a whole different means of interaction with technology. Both 2D and 3D best practices of interface design will draw the model of mixed reality. Tilt Brush is a VR app in which user holds the palette in his hand. It can be rotated with the joystick. The menus of the palette are structured in 2D. This menu can be floated into the immersive environment so that users can observe the same two-dimensional UI mapped into three-dimensional environment. Val Head explains the concept of interface animation in MR as

“Although animation that is used in a 3D spatial canvas will be different than it is on 2D screens, they have the same intentions — to show feedback to users and help them to keep track of where to go. But when it comes to moving objects, we will have to be more accurate for physicality, weight, space and timing. It should be more realistic because interactions will be occurring in real space and time.”

In mixed reality environments gaze refers to the act of looking in some particular direction of interest. Gaze tells you where the user is looking in the world and lets you determine the object on which they are concentrating. In gaze the head is a swivel and controls the virtual pointer. The concept of good or bad use of gaze in humans can also be used in mixed reality to make distinction in intentions. In MR, gaze is designed with respect to the activation or deactivation of UI elements. Three dimensional user interface increases another level of complexity when dealing with new perceptive so don’t put excessive load on user. The next step of visual feature is eye-tracking.

Mixed Reality is bringing up that modern technology which will change the concept of interface used in virtual immersive environments by users. Imagine how amazing it will be, when our surrounding will be a virtual UI.