​One of the technology trends you’ll hear a lot more about over the next year or two is natural user interface, or NUI. More natural ways to interact with technology are rapidly emerging—multi-touch, voice, vision, gestures, and many more. This means that for the first time, computing will adapt to us and demonstrate some degree of “intelligence”. This trend will see computers shift from being tools to helpers—performing tasks on our behalf based on an awareness of the environments we are in and the context of our actions. Ultimately, this will enable the development of computing interfaces that are far more natural and increasingly simple to use. This shift will help the next billion people to join the digital revolution as the technology learning curve disappears.

At Worldwide Partner Conference we have a new track, titled ‘Designing the Future’, that will explore NUI and the potential it holds. I’ll discuss why NUI is about far more than just touch or gesture, and is dependent on the capability of the cloud, the capacity to be always connected, and making sense of the enormous amounts of data we now generate in the form of digital footprints.
I’ll encourage you to imagine. Imagine a future where every surface in your home or at work is a digital display. Imagine those surfaces adapting to your needs, based on the time of day, your next task, or the proximity of other technology. Imagine meetings where the room is an intelligent participant, taking notes on your behalf, transcribing and translating them with a summary sent to all attendees as the meeting closes. Imagine using your voice to drive your entertainment experiences rather than searching for a lost remote control.
That’s the promise of NUI—enabled by technology that is all around us and ultimately making technology invisible. We’ll follow up this first session on NUI with a deeper look at how Microsoft’s FUSE Labs is delivering more natural, social experiences on the Web, we’ll look at the very latest from Microsoft , and we’ll have a few surprises in store.
It’s a welcome return to the world of partners for me, and I’m looking forward to seeing you all in L.A. and talking NUI.