The IDEAL classroom computer system is specifically designed to provide a collaborative learning environment in which students and teachers are immersed in in the learning experience. Each participant is provided with a personal interface matched to individual needs and preferences, and independent of the underlying computer systems and the applications that are being used. Specialized experimental apparatus and measurement modules can be added in a plug and play fashion to match particular learning activities without disturbing the user interfaces.
These capabilities are made possible by our new "Integration Manager and Natural Interaction Manager" (IMNIP" that redefines the ways in which people can interact with computer based devices. The GUI interfaces commonly used on personal computers present users with a smorgasbord of icons, menus and choice boxes from which the necessary commands must be selected in the correct order to perform a desired task. The IMNIP makes computers easier to use by implementing an Intent Driven Interface (IDI) that eliminates the need for users to know the detailed steps required to perform each task.
To get a feel for the significance of IDI, think of what is involved in starting the engine in a modern car compared to doing the same thing in an early vintage car. Today, it is very straightforward, we turn the ignition key and the engine starts. In a vintage car there are many steps that must be performed in certain ways and in the correct order: make sure the hand break is on and the gears are in neutral, set the choke based on air temperature and altitude, set the hand throttle to a fast idle, advance the spark, get out of the car, insert the cranking handle in the front of the engine, grasp the handle of the crank properly so that you won't break your thumb if the engine backfires, carefully turn over the engine to judge the compression stroke, crank the engine until it starts, remove and stow the crank handle, climb back into the car and adjust the controls over a period of time until the engine is running smoothly.
The contrast between IDS and contemporary GUI computer interfaces is similarly striking. With IDS the user only needs to say or type a command in natural language or make a gesture and the system will identify and perform the intended task or sequence of tasks.
What is IDEAL?
IDEAL stands for Intent Driven Environment for Active Learning. The goal for the IDEAL classroom is to eliminate the need for students to learn and remember arcane details about how to use computers, operating systems and applications programs. An Intent Driven Interface provides transparent access to all user-accessible control functions for interacting with computers, and IT devices.
What is an Intent Driven Interface (IDI)?
An IDI interprets one or more streams of user input data to determine the intent behind the user's actions.