UX Director

13 Years Later

13 years ago I was a verbose game designer writing about the future of games.  Today I'm a super efficient UX guy who hatesd verbosity both.

So now I'm taking a look back at my crazy predictions to see which have come true, which have me in the LOLS for how wrong they were - and which I can shoot down for the heinous overuse of metaphors.

Motive Power

Within 20 years the most significant objects in our world will move of their own accord.
— 9th January 2018


I've gone off piste.  I'm supposed to be reviewing thoughts I've actually written down, not just musings I had way back, so forgive the digression.

In 2006 I wanted to make Star Wars 'force pulling' real.  Reach your arm out and your drink moves to you across the table.  Or the TV remote comes to your hand or the chair you left untidily tucks itself in.

It smacks of Arthur C Clarke's 'advanced tech is indistinguishable from magic,' and when it is, then it's mundane too.  I want to make the unimaginable utterly unremarkable.  It's the hallmark of tech done well.


How did I do?  Not here yet.  But I do want this bin from the 2012 kinect era when open vision and Prime Sense tech made a splash and spawned a thousand GitHub vision demos.


I agree, that the 'come-to-me' concept is the ultimate in laziness - so be careful of your social impact.  But it's also incredibly freeing for the elderly and physically impaired.  Suddenly they're empowered to rearrange all their furniture whenever they like, or to find the thing that fell down behind the bookcase.

Combine a power source and a few room cameras, with omni-wheels and some learning algorithms, then solve some automated positional matching and bingo - you have a universal move-it product.  Attach the little gizmos to everything that you can, and it's the Sorceror's Apprentice in your house every day. [skip to 1:00 to witness the future... or hit up the famous Mary Poppins tidying sequence for more glimpses of tomorrow]


BUT the real game changer here is for AR and presence.  When people, or digital objects interact with the real world, the real world should react in kind.  An avatar can pass you something, tuck in a chair they were sitting in.  A real ball can knock over a virtual vase, or a telepresent person could catch a real one*.  Then it truly doesn't matter whether you are somewhere physically or virtually - and those around you can be either.  No one will care if they are two meters away or two thousand miles away.  Everything you see is the utterly seamless blending of data and reality to the point where they are indistinguishable.  When we have that, and it's commonplace, then we'll truly have made the magical, mundane.

Brands will be talking about what physical movement style is the expression of their voice and they'll have physical animators, like from the Muppet days, to puppeteer the objects as exemplars for the neural nets that learn their animation style / sad Ben out

*surely it would catch itself, but hey, we're painting a picture here!

Ben GonshawComment