While heads-up displays (HUDs) were initially the preserve of science fiction movies, in recent years we’ve seen them implemented in aircraft, cars, glasses and even contact lenses.
Now, open source OS Ubuntu is bringing a HUD to its user interface, aiming to do away completely with menus in Unity applications. It is a rather radical rethinking of the way we navigate around the desktop environment, and one which is sure to take most people some time to get used to.
“The HUD has been designed as an easier, faster way to access menus in applications. Instead of clicking through menus, users type the command they require in a search box,” according to a statement from the developers.
Testing is currently underway and the HUD is set to be integrated into the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release due in April.
In the past few releases of Ubuntu, the developers have been actively diminishing the visual presence of menus in anticipation of this landing and in order to get users used to the new look.
The HUD will be able to learn the actions a user usually takes and prioritise options for commands based on past use. The HUD also covers system functionality, so users can change their IM status, play and pause music or go offline on Skype for example – as seen in the video here.
Source: Mark Shuttleworth