Image: Hands on, on the NUI Horizon with NUI Suite Snowflake multitouch software solution
I just went through my Google Analytics and noticed that on 27 of January 2007 I activated Google Analytics for my blog.
So it seems I've already been blogging about multitouch for the last two years, time sure flies.
I started with multi-touch technology back in October 2006, before Microsoft launched their Surface and Apple their Iphone, so before the big multi-touch hype.
To give you an idea of multi-touch back then, there were maybe ONE handful of researchers (like Bill Buxton, who were far ahead of their time), that had done anything related to multi-touch. There were 2! websites that mentioned something about multitouch and there were no to hardly any hits on Google attached to the word "multitouch", but there was one movie regarding multitouch, from Jeff Han, that inspired us. I met Jeff in Amsterdam a while ago, a great guy, too bad he is so busy :( :)
Image: NUI Horizon interactive multitouch table
Since there was hardly information available about how to create this technology, I had this idea together with 1 student and 2 mentors from school (Martin Kuipers, Jurriaan Mous, Riekus van Montfoort), to start a community in order to share ideas related to multi-touch technology hardware and software and accelerate development of this new emerging technology.
I was tasked to set up this community and online I found a small group of people who supported that idea (Chris Moore, David Wallin, Tom Juby and Pawel Solyga).
Previously Chris had taken an initiative with a friend of his, to do research and share ideas with others at school, which did not found much interest.
That initiative was called Natural User Interface Group for summer classes.
However after merging our combined efforts, adopting the name Natural User Interface Group and setting up the forum and IRC chat and stimulating interest, things started to take off for NUI Group.
A lot has happened since then. Today in NUI Group we have over 4000 members (students, companies, institutes) and I expect that we will be hitting 6500 members by the end of the year.
Large corporations are continuously monitoring the NUI Group website and this blog, so it is not just a cool technology. It is good to see that large serious companies are looking at this technology, which means that there is a big wave coming and it is not a hype or a technology or product that failed, just because it came too early. There have been amazing technologies and products in history, but they were too early for their time, people didn't grasp it, so there was no significant demand. Multi-touch technology amazes people, it grasps them and it will be a successful switch in human computer interaction, creating a lot of business, opportunities and jobs.
It is not for nothing that people in the NUI Group community get job offers and that for example one of the former NUI interns went off to Redmond to pursue a job at Microsoft.
Video: A customized project NUI delivered for Cityscape Abu Dhabi
Multitouch.nl was the first blog worldwide that was solely dedicated to multitouch, describing how to make multitouch technology accessible. The tutorial that I wrote during my studies on how to build your own multitouch hardware solution is been downloaded very often and despite that it is old for its time (early 2007), it has luckily been very useful for a lot of people and I appreciate everybodys kind words. You can download the tutorial in the bottom of the right column on this blog.
Image: NUI Suite Snowflake product packshot
Aside to that, together with 1 angel investor and 3 fellow students we started Natural User Interface, a multitouch pioneering commercial company located in Sweden that is delivering sophisticated multi-touch hardware, software and service solutions. Nowadays we have software development operations in Poland and an extended office in Singapore with over 15 people involved in operations.
We have been involved in amazing projects (both hardware and software as well as services), from the colds up here in north Sweden, close to the North Pole, to the desert of Saudi Arabia. Our multi-touch software solution NUI Suite Snowflake is the result of almost 2 years of hard work, which is being used by companies worldwide and has been demonstrated in USA, South America, Europe, Middle East and Asia.
Video: NUI Suite Snowflake on multitouch wall at event in UK
We are proud to work with very strong partners, that integrate (OEM) and resell our solutions.
I would like to thank everybody who is frequently visiting my blog here to stay up to date on NUI and the people who are making this technology happen.
If you are interested, you can follow daily operations of NUI @ Twitter:
NUI is changing the way people interact with computers.
Our mission is to make the interface between the users and technology more natural.