Using PS2 pads to control missiles
According to Michael Macedonia (CTO of the government-owned U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation), games gains more and more respect for training armed forces. A short column in Gamasutra deals with this issue. My favorite part is the following:
Currently in use is a missile system interface, the design of which is based on the PlayStation 2 controller. According to Macedonia, senior officials polled a group of soldiers about what would be their ideal method of control for missile guidance, and that design was resultant. He maintains that it is important, on both the hardware and software side, to make the technology fit the user, not force the user to fit the technology.
Why do I blog this? Actually, military material is normally way ahead video games (as well as other innovation factors like sex/cybersex) in terms of innovative interface, but here it seems that video games offered the most interesting solution first. It's nice to see that now specific products are based on a standard derived from video games. From an interaction design point of view, this kind of fact is great. I would like to know more about the development process. Well, they certainly did some focus groups and studied how people control things, with.. video games (with all thise buzz lately about serious games and military training, that's for sure). And this raises new questions like how will tomorrow's technology developers/interaction designers take into account today's use of technology. As a matter of fact, if we rely on the idea that today's styles of interaction styles is based on yesterday's way of interactings (knobs, pad...) we can assume that... in the near future... militaries will use gestural/embodied/situated/location-triggered interfaces?????????? Well let's see.