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Get to Hospital to See the Future

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Modern hospitals provide a glimpse into how people will interact with machines in the future, according to a new Gartner report on the future of human-computer interaction.

Speech recognition is an example of how health care is leading the world in the use of new technology. Consumers can use voice-recognition systems that enable them to make hands-free phone calls and to control computer systems, but the technology's current state of usability is largely due to the rehabilitation industry. The greatest achievement of modern voice recognition is enabling people who are unable to physically use a mouse or keyboard to access technology. For these people, voice recognition is as much a medical device as an office aid, and many of them supported and used the technology when it was far below its current quality.

Haptics is another technology with consumer potential that is currently being used in medicine, primarily for remote surgery, training, and interpreting complex scans.

The computer interface technologies that will likely be the most common in the future are currently available in hospitals, including mind-controlled computers. The victims of accidents and injuries are the first to receive technological implants to control technology. By testing and developing technology in the medical field, not only can technology researchers refine and improve the technology by observing its actual use, but the designs benefit from the safety and usability requirements established by regulators such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

From New Scientist
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