About the Author

Tim Huckaby is focused on the Natural User Interface (NUI) in Rich Client Technologies like Silverlight & WPF on the desktop, the notebook/tablet, the Surface, and mobile devices like the Windows Phone 7. He has been called a “Pioneer of the Smart Client Revolution” by the press. Tim has been awarded many times for the highest rated technical presentations and keynotes for Microsoft and many other technology conferences around the world. Tim is consistently rated in the top 10% of all speakers at these events. Tim has done keynote demos for many Microsoft executives including Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. Tim founded InterKnowlogy, experts in .NET and Microsoft Platforms, in 1999. He serves as its Chairman and as the Chairman of Actus Software. Tim has 30+ years’ experience including serving on a Microsoft product team as a dev lead on an architecture team on a Server Product. Tim is a Microsoft Regional Director, a Microsoft MVP and serves on many Microsoft councils and boards like the Microsoft .NET Partner Advisory Council.

The Association for Competitive Technology

I am in Washington DC to meet with my elected officials and educate them about the growing mobile economy and tech innovation. I’m here with Emilie Hersh from.IK.

I have served the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) since 1998 and it’s an honor to be a part of this amazing group.

The group is made up of leading entrepreneurs from across the country to participate in the Association for Competitive Technology Washington Fly-In. Around 50 of us, have descended on the nation’s capital to help lawmakers in the Congress and Senate recognize the incredible impact that small technology companies are having on our nation’s economy.

I have travelled to Washington DC (with some fly fishing in West Virginia before) to alert lawmakers about important issues including intellectual property and patent reform, data security and privacy, and regulatory obstacles to growth. We also look to areas where technology and policy can combine to meet the needs of industry and consumers.

These are all important issues that the federal government is facing. The outcomes really matter to me and that is why I will continue to try to make sure my voice is heard. Hopefully, an informed Congress will allow companies like InterKnowlogy and Actus to continue to flourish.

The 7 Tenets of an Engaging & Natural User Experience – From a Developer’s perspective

One of the more fun projects I have done in the past couple years is a video for Wintellect called “The 7 Tenets of an Engaging & Natural User Experience – From a Developer’s perspective”.  Wintellect has an online training division called WintellectNOW!.  I had never done anything like this in my career and when my buddy Sara Faatz reached out to me I just couldn’t say no.  I have lots of buddies at Wintellect.  It’s a great company.  I knew it would be a ton of work to pull off a good video.  I did a little bit of due dilligence with my other industry peers that speak in front of large technical audience who are wintellect authors and everyone of them had glowing things to say about Wintellect….which I expected.

Now when i say it was a ton of work I am not kidding.  Unlike a normal training video where you record your voice while recording your screen with a tool like camtasia, i had to record my demos the real way….the old fashioned way…and there are 18 demos in this training.  Because user interaction design is an underlying theme of this training and NUI is touching, waving and speaking to computers.  you cannot screen capture that type of user experience and hide under the umbrella of redoing the audio in post production.  I solicited my son Mark, who is a nationally awarded film maker, to do the filming… and I learned a lot about filming and lightning that long sunday from an 18 year old.  The editing was a week long process where i jumped from Kindergarten to 5th grade in my Sony Vegas (Movie Studio) skills.

I think it came out just great.  i have got some really good feedback.  It’s the first “designer” like thing i have done in this format.  So, i am venturing into new territory.  i have started doing user interaction design presentations and keynotes in front of live audiences, but this is different.  i really am looking forward to doing the next one.  It’s just a matter of scheduling and allotting the enormous amount of time.  Sara and I pencilled in a few more titles; i just hope she doesn’t read this post in a timely manner. :)

If you want to view the training it’s easy.  There is a 14-day free trial with no obligation.  Folks just go to:  https://www.wintellectnow.com/Account/Register and enter “HUCKABY-14” in the “Promo code” box.  You’ll have to provide your email address; create a password; and enter your first and last name. Once that’s done, you’ll have access to my video and the entire library for 14 days.

CES 2014 – My Presentation and Invite to a Private Party (VIP Reception)

ces

I am pretty excited (and honored to be invited back) to speak at CES International in Las Vegas again this year.  My presentation details are below in case you are going to CES and can attend.

But, I’m also keynoting a VIP Reception that same night.  it’s a private event with a party (cocktails / food) after.  It should be totally fun.  It’s sponsored by the Microsoft Perspective Pixel Team, Avnet, and hosted at The Integration Center.  It’s free and transportation to and from the CES conference center is provided.  I have provided the Details and registration link and private code below.

Details:

Register to Attend VIP Reception at CES 2014

You are invited to attend a VIP reception at CES 2014 hosted by Perceptive Pixel (PPI) by Microsoft and Avnet. The International CES Conference covers all things groundbreaking, market-leading and pioneering in the consumer electronics (CE) industry and PPI will be there to showcase how you can leverage our devices to redefine your meeting experiences.

The reception hosted at the Integration Center in Las Vegas brings together industry-leading companies and ideas under one roof. The event will kick off with a special keynote presentation from Tim Huckaby  on “The Engaging User Experience & the Natural User Interface”. This demo focused keynote will take an amusing look at the past and take an impressive look at some of the best NUI software being built today and into the immediate future and will even delve into the NUI of the future.

A cocktail reception will immediately follow the keynote, where you will have the opportunity to meet with key executives from Microsoft and Avnet to learn more about how we are working together to drive innovation and collaboration in the industry while networking with fellow CES attendees. You will also have an opportunity to see demos and learn how PPI is enabling organizations to spark creativity, ignite collaborative power, showcase their best.

Space for the reception is limited, use the link below to RSVP and secure your space to attend. Registration closes Friday,

When& Where:

Wednesday, January 8th

4:30 – 5:30 PM – Keynote Presentation The inNEVation Center

5:30 – 7:30 PM – Cocktail Reception The Integration Center

6795 Edmond Street, Las Vegas, NV 89118

(702) 605-9800

Transportation:

Shuttles will pick up attendees at 4:00 PM at the Venetian Resort Hotel Bus & Tour Lobby

Shuttles will depart the Integration center at 7:30 PM to return to the Venetian Resort 

Link to Register:

https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/InviteOnly.aspx?EventID=C0-41-DD-A3-8F-29-24-BF-A0-2D-85-33-19-6A-99-72&Culture=en-US&community=0

RSVP Code:

521DAE

Please note that registration requires a Microsoft account to register. If you use Hotmail, SkyDrive, Xbox LIVE, or a number of other products you already have a Microsoft Account. Don’t have a Microsoft account? Sign up now to create your profile and save time for future registrations.

Reception Co-Hosted By

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Details on my Presentation at CES:
January 8, 2014

Session: User Interface Innovation: What’s on the Horizon?

Gesture control has moved from videogame consoles to PCs and TVs and it is setting its sights on your car’s dashboard. Is 2014 the year of gesture? Will kinetics, facial recognition, eye tracking and brain control make the cut or die on the vine?

Location:LVCC, North Hall

Room:N259

Time:2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Role:Moderator

FalafelCon 2013–Silicon Valley

I’m storming the Silicon Valley June 10th and 11th, 2013 to Keynote at FalafelCon at the Microsoft Campus in Mountain View, California. 

Forty-Whiner loving technologists in Norcal: my Buddy Lino who’s putting on this conference wants you to know:

“Anyone using a coupon “HuckabySD” in the Falafel store at http://www.falafel.com/store/falafelcon-2013 will get $50 off automatically at checkout.”

InterKnowlogy at CES

Here’s the little blurb I did for the IK quarterly newsletter on my presentation at CES.  if you want to get on the newsletter mailing list contact Jess at: jessicak@interknowlogy.com

 

 

Almost 9 months ago The CES folks reached out to me and asked me to speak at their show.  The trade show is still the largest in the world, 140,000 attendees this year, and has been around for a long time – Since 1967.  It used to be called the “Consumer Electronics Show”.  They told me “We think your insight and expertise in NUI and futuristic user interfaces would be of great interest to the CES attendee”.

Although I have presented at some pretty huge events, world-wide live TV, etc., I was really flattered and quite honored to represent IK.  But, I went into a 6 month panic on how/what to present.  After years of presenting in front of audiences, you’d think I’d not be worried.  But, for over 15 years I have been presenting mostly to developer audiences.  Sure, the older I get the more keynotes I do, which cater to all types of computer technologists.  But, they don’t cater to the consumer techno elite.

The other difference is that I was given a session title “User Interface: What It Will Look Like in 5 Years” and short abstract.  Normally I submit session titles with an abstract and the conference chooses for me.

It went really well.  I spoke to a packed house and CES told me they had to turn down over 100 people because of fire regulations.  I must have got it right because the concepts of the Natural User Interface (touch, voice, gesture) really resonated and so did the future of neural interfaces.  Plus, there are nothing like compelling demos of the work IK has done to captivate and engage an audience.  I have never had so many attendees ask me for my presentation.  If you’d like it or to see the recording of it, just send me a note.

Why am I Confused?

 

Grandma Huckaby knows what an iPad is.  She knows it’s expensive.  And she heard on the news that Apple announced a little iPad.  and she heard on the news it is expensive.  She also knows what Macbooks, iMacs, and MacBook Airs are. 

In the science of marketing that is called Brand Identity (as opposed to brand awareness and other components of branding).  it is difficult to achieve greatness in Brand Identity.  It’s also very difficult and usually very damaging to screw it up.  You either score high on brand identity or you don’t. 

So, that is why it is with great pain that I paste the following diatribe.  Rhetorically, I have to ask, “Why does a company with such great technology and awesome R&D keep doing this?”  

I cannot take credit for this.  It was written by a buddy of mine who truly is brilliant, has pride in his company, and like me, is a bit frustrated he has to explain this to customers.  Ok, here we go….

• The device formerly known as Surface, is now known as a PixelSense device.  The device formerly known as the Surface table is now known as the Samsung SUR40.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/pixelsense/

• The term Surface is now used to describe a type of hardware (small laptop with an easily detachable keyboard), not the OS that is used on it.  The first version of the Surface is being released tomorrow, on 10/26/2012 and is the called Surface RT (See what RT means below).

http://www.Microsoft.com/surface

http://surface.Microsoftstore.com

• The term WinRT refers to a technology, the runtime used to execute the “Modern UI” or “Windows Store” applications on a range of platforms.  These were formerly referred to as “Metro” applications.  Also, Windows Store applications do not have to be deployed only from the Windows Store.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/apps/br229512

• The Windows 8 operating system runs on the traditional wintel hardware and provides a great bridge from Windows 7 to Windows 8.  Windows 8 runs everything that ran on Windows 7 AND all of the new WinRT applications.  Windows 8 also includes enhancements to some foundational components, like Active Directory.

 

• Windows RT only runs WinRT and therefore new “Modern UI” applications.   It is a more compact and efficient version of the OS that targets low power ARM processors.

 

• Surface RT runs Windows RT which only runs WinRT and therefore only “Modern UI” applications; which for years we have called Metro applications, but no longer can.

 

• The forthcoming Surface Pro will run Windows 8, but details have not yet been announced.

 

Now let’s talk about Windows Phone 8….

Channel 9 Interview: Real-world Kinect from TechEd

One of the more fun things I did at TechEd this year was a video interview and demo with my old friend, Dan Fernandez of Microsoft.  I have known Dan for years and we have done some serious damage all over the world.  But, unlike most of the interviews I do, I really like the way this one came out.  Dan is a natural interviewer, lead me right into the things folks would be interested most in as it relates to developer productivity and usability in Kinect for Windows.

http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/Tim-Huckaby-Building-Real-World-Kinect-Applications

In the interview Dan and I discuss Usability and user experience with Kinect for Windows.  I show Cursor Navigation vs. Avatar navigation.  I show a zoom and pan gesture versus more traditional gesture based zooming.  We talk about standards for gesture…or lack thereof… and I painfully talk about lessons learned in usability.

During the interview I jump off the stage and demo:

  1. The Actus Interactive Digital Content Solution – Metro Themed and Completely Content (and application) driven in the cloud, the Actus “interactive kiosk” solution is keyboard/Mouse and/or multi-touch driven by the user.  But, it’s wildly popular differentiator is that it is gesture and/or voice controlled with Kinect for Windows.  From the Actus solution I demo:
  2. The InterKnowlogy Kinect for Windows driven Physical Therapy Application.  The demo version of this production app gets a lot of play because the gesture Bryan Coon created for the rotator cuff exercise has a ton of engineering in it to force the user into doing the exercise exactly correctly.
  3. The InterKnowlogy Touch-less Operating Room (TOR).  This app is where we first introduced our own smoothing in avatar mode.  The IK engineers found that we could improve smoothing dramatically by doing it themselves instead of using the smoothing Microsoft provides with the SDK.  I’m particularly proud of this app because it’s gets a ton of demo by Microsoft Execs and will continue to.  but, what is most cool is that it was demo’d by JP Wollersheim of the Kinect team in a Rick Rashid keynote a few weeks back to 6000 people.  Rick Rashid is the Chief Research Officer of Microsoft.

Have a Nice Conflict

“IN THE STORY that follows, we explore the practical ideas of relationship awareness theory.”
From the book
Have a Nice Conflict

When I read that first sentence from “Have a Nice Conflict” I said to myself, “God, I am going to hate this book.”  I’m an engineer by trade.  I have a black and white personality.  Let me come clean on the truth: My book reading (and writing for that matter) for the last decade has been limited to mostly software and fly fishing.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s my job to read.  A huge portion of my day is spent reading.  But, the sheer thought of reading a management self help book made me cringe.  I have tried to read books like this, but I never finish.

This book “Have a nice Conflict” is climbing the Amazon and NY Times Best seller list.  And now that I have read the book, I can see why. Have a Nice Conflict

From where I write this in my office I can clearly see the books, “Execution”, “Never Eat Alone”, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, and “How Full is your Bucket” among other self help business books in my bookcase.  And I look back at all those like it was a waste of my time to read them.  It’s not that they are not valuable, I know they are very valuable for many people.  They just didn’t feel like reading them was a good spend of my time – Again the weakness / arrogance of my black and white personality.  Well, that, and to be frank, turning turning obvious concepts into books seems like such a waste of trees.

But, the engineer is an interesting breed.  As any PM will tell you they are very hard to manage.  Why?  Well I disdain generalizing any group of humans, but where in the world do we find a group of such arrogant “I’m the smartest person I have ever met and not only do I know everything about engineering I know everything about everything.” and at the same time have such fragile egos that need to be constantly appreciated than engineers?  This group is rife with conflict.  And I’m one of them I fear.  And it’s not like I wasn’t aware of it until reading the book.  I was.  But, the biggest lesson I learned from reading the book is that as a “Red”, I leave a huge calamity of conflict in my wake…and I don’t even realize it.  The book has helped to explain why I am so puzzled at some people’s reactions to the “matter of fact” things I say.  You’ll have to read the book to figure out what a “Red” is and all the other colors of humans that the book classifies.

If you are an engineer or have to work with them directly, I strongly recommend you get your hands on this book.  It’s premise is preventing, managing and leveraging conflict.  But, it is the details around the story told that pulls it together for “black and whites” like me.

How to build a simple Silverlight Animation App in Blend

One of my demos in my Windows Phone 7 presentation at Dev Connections in Orlando on March 29th, 2011 and the subject of the article I wrote for the Silverlight Update Newsletter in April of 2010 was showing the power of Microsoft Expression Blend to create XAML storyboard animations.

The document that contains the painstakingly detailed instructions to build the simple Animation application in Silverlight that was highlighted can be downloaded here.

This demo shows the power of building XAML Storyboard animations in Microsoft Expression Blend without having to manually write any code!  It also shows the power of Blend when you learn how to use it.

The instructions are for building the application for Windows Phone 7, but the process is identical for building native Silverlight applications.

Tim's WP7 animation app

Judging INETA’s Component Code Challenge

I was asked to judge the INETA’s Component Code Challenge a few weeks ago so I gladly accepted figuring it would be pretty fun.  Along with esteemed colleagues, Bill Evjen and Scott Cate we were asked to evaluate, rank and vote on application submissions from a variety of folks built on a number of different parts of the .NET stack.

What i grossly underestimated was how impressive the entries were and what a time-suck this would be.  It is just amazing to me the amount of developer productivity these guys got by using controls.  I was told to judge based on the following criteria and man, was it difficult….

1.     Effective use of a component to solve a problem/display data

2.     Innovative use of components

3.     Impact using components (i.e. reduction in lines of code written, increased productivity, etc.)

4.     Most creative use of a component.

Although I have until EOD today, March 24, 2011 I am done with my judging.  I’m not allowed to post my favorite here, because winners are not announced yet.  but, I’d love to do a subsequent blog post because the entries are awesome.

The Prizes are cool:

  • 2 Tech·Ed Scholarships: The top 2 entries, as determined by our judges, will receive a scholarship to Tech·Ed 2011 in Atlanta including air, hotel, and conference pass.
  • 10 Prize Packs: The top ten entrants will receive a prize pack full of full licenses to controls and other goodies donated by our vendors.
and since I’m speaking at TechEd i’m looking forward to meeting the winners.
It goes without saying that the winners will be announced on the INETA site.