Now that you’ve transcended your outmoded way of understanding cognition (you’re welcome), we can talk more meaningfully about Natural User Interface, or NUI. Let’s start at the beginning…
User interface has deep roots in industrial design. At the outset, it was all about the interaction between man and machine. Imagine a big, loud, steel contraption in a factory, with a bunch of cogs and levers and maybe a plume of steam shooting out the top for added drama, being operated by someone with impressive biceps, making the machine do its thing. The machine was designed with the operator’s (really nice) body in mind, which set the important precedent: “objects designed for controlling physical matter are designed to relate to, and interact, with the human body.“
Eventually, things evolved, which is awesome, because continued evolution is the key to life, (read: good design). User interface progressed to include machines that stored and processed information. At this point, everything moved up into our heads, and our collective biceps became pretty flabby. Users interacted with these new machines, calculators and computers, for example, with minimal bodily effort, a poke here, a click there, most often centered on some sort of screen, and we accidentally lost the intrinsic ability to relate to these machines via embodied cognition.
The more we engage the body, the more effective we as humans think. Amplified through technology, tools that enable the use of the body and the mind working seamlessly, offer limitless possibilities.