In the new world of direct-touch input, natural user interfaces rely on their playful reproduction of the physical world. Physical objects respond instantly to forces we apply to them: ink pours from a pen onto the page as we write, and objects respond immediately when we tap, push, or pull them.
Sadly, the digital input sensors and software we use today enable only a poor-man’s simulacrum of the physical world. Screen content responds 50 to 200 milliseconds after being touched. Dragged digital objects visibly lag behind the finger. Digital ink strokes trail well behind the pen tip and fail to faithfully capture curves or fine-grain detail.
The result is a user experience which overpromises and under delivers. Today's natural user interfaces rely on software tricks like rubber-banding and curve-fitting that workaround rather than directly address these limitations. Failing to tackle this accuracy and latency gap between digital and physical interfaces limits software and interface design, perceived product quality, and end-user productivity.