Talk:Natural user interface

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Proposed deletion[edit]

There was a proposal that this entry was deleted. I have removed this proposal, but this article still needs your help.

Here, for the record, are the reasons I lobbied that this should not be deleted:

I work for a company that designs user interfaces of all kinds. In the last three years I have heard the terms NUI and Natural User Interface, or natural user interaction, used thousands of times. I have heard it used by Apple to describe some of the user interface aspects of the iPhone. I have heard it used by Microsoft to describe some of the UI aspects of their Surface device. I have heard it used by academics, using it to discuss things like 'gestures' for operating user interfaces.

I have heard companies describe themselves as NUI design companies, e.g. Stimulant, Identity Mine and others. I have seen companies that have technology that they or the blogosphere refer to as NUI technology - much of this e.g. Jeff Han's Perceptive Pixel, coming from an Academic origin, or John Underkoffler who was the consultant for the user interfaces in Minority Report, and now runs 'Oblong' a company set up to exploit the work he did at University.

Apparently there is a company called NUI Inc, set up in 2005 and this article was seen as a promotional vehicle for them. Well... it's not. I don't work for them. I'd never heard of them until Richard Monson-Haefel blogged about the fact that NUI didn't have a wikipedia entry here:

Apparently there is a company called Web Design inc. but it doesn't prevent 'web design' having a wikipedia entry. Ok, we're slightly earlier in the adoption of the term, but it doesn't make a difference.

The best way to counter this deletion attempt is to make this article good, so I call on all NUI designers and developers out there to help.. edit away!

Poleydee (talk) 08:07, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

I will start editing it in the next few days or so. The main problem I see with the entry now is the definition is incorrect. A NUI is not a transparent or minimal UI, in fact it can be a very cluttered UI. A NUI is a natural way to interact with the interface. Whereas a normal computer requires a keyboard and mouse, a NUI does not. You interact with natural movements and gestures. There are several subsections of NUIs, which are: voice, hand gestures, touch, movement, eye tracking, etc. One of the major distinguishing factors between a NUI and a GUI are the lack of icons for the most part. Where a GUI will have an icon of a camera that represents your photos application, a NUI will have an actual photo from your photo collection. There are lots more differences and distinguishing characteristics between them. Just remember that a NUI will require nothing more than what you were born with to interact with it. The key is to think beyond computers and webpages and think of interaction in life with machines. I will list out some common machines and what types of interface they have:
  • lightswitch - mechanical
  • gps inside your vehicle - NUI/Touch
  • Iphone - NUI
  • Vista - for the most part it is a GUI, but it can be NUI with certain software (Dragon Naturally Speaking, Tablet: Even though a pen is considered extra hardware, for the time being it is still considered a NUI because it is more natural, pens and pencils, than a mouse or keyboard, also because you 'write' on a tablet which is a natural interaction)
  • XBOX - GUI
  • Old school printing press using levers and handles - mechanical
A Natural User Interface is an interface that allows a user to interact with it more naturally. It is the elimination of in between hardware. In the interest of disclosure I am a NUI Interaction Designer for a major software company. So please verify my tone and bias after I edit. RonUSMC (talk) 01:53, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
See WP:NEO for suggestions on how to avoid some of the problems with this article. --Ronz (talk) 02:05, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I added to the page. The history of early NUI interfaces needs to be filled out as well. Bill Buxton's page has a great history of them. RonUSMC (talk) 09:09, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

The article is still skewed toward a Microsoft-based perspective, but the coverage of the concept itself is substantively better than what the NUI Group folks were contributing in earlier versions of the article. Dancter (talk) 18:09, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I'll add some more non-MSFT items on there. RonUSMC (talk) 05:37, 3 August 2009 (UTC)


I've started off the new year with several new references and a quote or two. I also propose that we delete the "interfaces formerly referred" section and either create a History section and populate it with more items, or just delete it all together. Happy New Year Everyone. RonUSMC (talk) 12:50, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

  • On a side note: I have also created a subpage from my talk page about OCGM, which is gaining a ton of popularity and has been seen all over. It's a replacement for the WIMP acronym, if any of you would like to edit it, please feel free! Eventually I'll be submitting it as a new article after it's shaped up. User:RonUSMC/OCGM_(computing) RonUSMC (talk) 12:50, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Article quality[edit]

I undid a series of edits by that only served to violate WP:NPOV by adding Apple where it wasn't needed in the history section. This IP's history shows edits to other articles that were similarly low quality and Apple-specific. Joshb323 (talk) 04:49, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I removed a line re:the validity of the Kinect as a NUI platform which seemed unnecessarily biased against Microsoft. --Aliasrob (talk) 16:45, 4 December 2012 (UTC)


Am I not understanding this article correctly... or why isn't Siri mentioned? I thought it'd be a prime example of a "natural" UI since you can talk to it naturally, without a fixed syntax (unlike other similar voice assistant technologies) and it understands (e.g. you can ask about the weather in a number of different ways: "What is the weather?", "What's the weather like?", "Is it raining outside right now?", etc.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:32, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Siri is considered a Voice_activated application. There is an entire article about voice activation and the devices that utilize it. Technically, it could be considered a NUI, but its not that helpful here when it's been covered in more detail elsewhere.RonUSMC (talk) 15:56, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
    • This article on NUI is pretty jumbled and not well written (although almost every sentence seems, by itself, to be clear and well written). Why do you say "technically," which I assume you mean dismissively? If my response seems a bit jumbled, then you get the picture. (talk) 05:15, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Palo Alto Pseudoscience[edit]

The whole concept of a “natural user interface” is already nonsense, because “The only intuitive interface is the nipple. Everything else is learned.”. So everything building on top of that, is based on nothing and invalid.

Yet this article presents an extremely one-sided view typical of a very specific kind of dumbed-down degenerated culture mindset prominent at companies and groups like Apple, Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, WhatWG, etc, that is generally not shared by actual scientists.

Hence it needs to be completely rewritten, and maybe even deleted. (Although it should be kept around for the same reason that articles about religious nonsense are.) (talk) 23:08, 12 August 2016 (UTC)