Microsoft is working to significantly improve the Modern UI in its future OS version and it seems that one of the ways to do that is to develop a more advanced live tile system that could be implemented in Windows 9.
Human-Computer Interaction Group researcher Jiawei Gu presented a new concept at the Microsoft Research TechFest 2014 event, which took place in February this year, providing us with the first glimpse at what the company calls interactive tiles.
At this point, the colorful live tiles available on the Start screen only show information regarding the app’s activity, but in the future they could allow full interaction with the app itself.
A demo, which was posted and pulled by Microsoft after a few minutes, shows that the Outlook tile can allow users to access inbox messages and open emails without launching the app. At the same time, the desktop tile could be used to view the running desktop programs and quickly open any of them, thus saving time and clicks or taps, depending on the device you are using.
The Weather app tile brings interactive options too, providing instant access to detailed forecasts for a specific day of the week, while the Xbox Music tile gives more control over the playback.
Here’s what Gu says about the interactive live tiles:
“This project features an Interactive-Tile UI system that enables users to access and manipulate Live Tiles in an interactive way with touch gestures. Interactive Tile’s UI is responsive and flexible to an app’s content and function. Users can provide quick input to the Interactive Tile on the Start screen. With a perception of Start as an entrance page, Interactive Tiles were introduced to empower the start screen with an intermediate access level to applications.”
At this point, the interactive live tiles are still in the development stage, but given the fact that Windows 9 is expected to bring significant improvements to the Modern UI, expect them to be implemented in the next full version of Windows. Since it’s a project developed by Microsoft Research, nobody can tell for sure however whether they will make it to Windows or not, but let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that Windows 9 comes with such a feature.
Windows 9 is projected to be launched in spring 2015, so, until then, Microsoft has enough time to complete development of the interactive live tiles and make them available not only on the PC, but also on tablets and smartphones.