Pushing the boundaries: Human interaction with technology

by Andra Joy Lally - 10 Jun 2016

A couple of weeks ago I attended JSConf 2016 in Budapest. This was a two day conference about JavaScript where speakers from all over the world came to share their passion, ideas, and recent projects with the broader tech community.


Zalando had a booth set up at the conference, on top of being represented by Princiya Marina Sequeira, who spoke on ‘Natural User Interfaces using JavaScript’. The presentation began with Princiya discussing how humans interact with technology today. The three major actions we currently apply are type, click, and touch. This seems pretty archaic compared to what software is able to do for us today.

Princiya next described what interacting with technology in the future might look like. “Engineers will be able to create a system for human interaction where the interfaces are more natural and intuitive.” The example she emphasised was building technology that could respond to human gestures or motion.

Princiya created two apps to demonstrate to the audience what is currently possible. Her first example was her computer responding to a human wave. She stood back a couple of feet from her computer and waved her hand. The computer responded to this wave and moved to the next slide in her presentation. One of the audience members was so impressed she drew a picture comparing the example to magic.


The second project she create was called “Draw”. The app would respond to her finger as she drew lines in the air. The computer would then draw the motions as a visual sketch on her computer. While incredibly impressive, Princiya did admit that the technology is not completely there just yet. For one thing, it heavily depends on light, but it still presents us with endless possibilities.

This was an incredible presentation: We’re challenging the boundaries of how we interact with technology. It is inspiring to see someone truly think outside the box. Princiya is ahead of her time and an awesome engineer. I’m truly lucky to be able to stand in the same booth as someone at a conference that is so inspiring when it comes to tech.

On top of that, it’s incredible that I’m able to see someone at work who constantly challenges the status quo of our current tech reality. Princiya did Zalando Tech proud.

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