Whether you’re an iPhone user, an Android user or have some obscure techy thing nobody else uses, odds are your phone works in the same kind of way: you do one thing at a time, and jumping between things is kind of a pain in the backside.
However, that could be a thing of the past, as British design consultancy Special Projects have come up with an approach to moving between apps that is more like how we move between tasks in the real world.
“Despite many benefits over traditional analogue tools, some digital interactions are actually more complex and frustrating than their physical equivalents,” they say. “The moment when you move between apps, copying text from a webpage into an email, for example, is more complex on a small screen than it would be in the physical world, interrupting flow and increasing the cognitive load of a simple task.”
They came up with a concept called Magic UX that uses augmented reality to mimic how we might lay objects out on a desk - a notepad here, a reference book there.
It’s really impressive - and it makes most sense once you see it in action, in the video below, starring the firm’s co-founders Clara Gaggero Westaway and Adrian Westaway. Adrian’s background is in magic, hence the name, possibly:
Looks good, right? Looks like it could totally become a thing. At the moment, something like putting an email together than included several images and chunks of text would just seem like something best left until sat at a desktop, but Magic UX could change that.
Despite the tech involved being (presumably) extraordinarily complex, it looks incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. There’s also no limit to how many apps you can ‘pin’ to a virtual space, and you can have multiple workspaces, like a more intense one for when you’re at work and a simple one for using at home. Amazingly, multiple users can share the same space, moving data from one phone to another as easily as moving the phone itself.
Special Projects are currently looking for where to take the technology - they’ve built it and patented it, but need a big phone company to take it on and integrate it into their user interface. So it’s likely to be a while before we’re effortlessly multitasking on the bus, but when it comes, it’ll be glorious.
Tim Cook, if you’re reading mate, give these guys a call.
(Pics: Special Projects)