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Virtual Dictionary


A Natural User Interface or NUI is an interface type in which the interface with the computer system occurs like an extension of the user's own body. It feels natural to that user, to the point that the computer system itself seems to disappear. As such a NUI is something of a holy grail of interfaces, and whilst some have been achieved, is usually difficult to pull off just right.

The emphasis is always on Natural User Interface, separating the user and the interface into two parts, rather than treating it as just one, as is the usual concept of a UI. By doing this, it becomes a matter of partnering a naturally behaving user with an interface for them, rather than creating a user interface and then introducing the user.

Examples of NUIs include VR systems in which the interface elements themselves fade from the user's mind, gesture control systems that flow smoothly, and interactive tabletops that behave as you would expect paper to but with added functions.

In short, a NUI is all about essentially eliminating any need for the user to stop and think about how to interface with the system; they use the same methods and mannerisms to interact with the computer devices as they would if working with a non-computational system. The interface learning curve is either very flat, or non-existent to the end user.

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Related Dictionary Entries for NUI:

Damage over Time



Multimodal Sequence

Natural User Interface


Simulated Universe


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