IxD leader Maggie Hendrie sizes up future of smartphones

IxD Dept. Chair Maggie Hendrie

IxD Dept. Chair Maggie Hendrie

Apparently, size might not matter — at least when it comes to the future of smartphones.

The tech world was buzzing this week with news that IBM might have found a way to make microchips smaller, cheaper and faster by substituting silicon with carbon nanotubes.

(Developments in the silicon microchip were what allowed big-as-brick cell phones to shrink to pocket-size smartphones and tablets.)

But Maggie Hendrie, Interaction Design Department chair at Art Center, told Marketplace that size isn’t the most important feature for smartphones when looking ahead.

“People’s fingers are a certain size,” said Hendrie. And screens can only get so small.

Carbon nanotubes become important, she said, when applied to voice and gesture-activated computing, especially if other devices can double as phones.

“So I make a phone call using Siri, and I’m not dialing it, I can use my wristwatch,” she said. “Once we start using other types of interation then the object can almost disappear.”

This fall, Art Center launched an Interaction Design (IxD) degree program headed by Hendrie. The college is accepting applications; for more information, call Admissions at 626.396.2373 or visit artcenter.edu/ixd

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