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Ubuntu 12.04 HUD Supports Voice-Based Menu Commands

By - Source: Mark Shuttleworth | B 30 comments

The new HUD will be included in the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release scheduled for April.

Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth reports that a new Head-Up Display, or HUD computer menu system, will be implemented into the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release scheduled to go live in April. The new HUD feature will replace current menus in Unity applications, providing a faster way to access menus in applications. Instead of clicking through menus, users simply type the command they require in a search box.

According to Shuttleworth, the new HUD can actually learn the actions a user most often requests and prioritize options for commands based on past use. HUD also covers system functionality, meaning users can play and pause music, or even change their IM status or go offline without having to access Skype directly, as an example.

"It’s a way for you to express your intent and have the application respond appropriately," he writes. "We think of it as 'beyond interface,' it’s the 'intenterface.' This concept of 'intent-driven interface' has been a primary theme of our work in the Unity shell, with dash search as a first class experience pioneered in Unity. Now we are bringing the same vision to the application, in a way which is completely compatible with existing applications and menus."

Shuttleworth indicates that voice input will be added, but not at its full potential when the HUD arrives in April. "The full integration of voice into applications will take some time," he writes. "We can start by mapping voice onto the existing menu structures of your apps. And it will only get better from there."

Given it's the end of January, there’s still a lot of design and code still to do in regards to getting HUD ready for an April release. The team, which includes individuals who understand Gtk and Qt such as Ted Gould, Ryan Lortie, Gord Allott and Aurelien Gateau, as well as designers Xi Zhu, Otto Greenslade, Oren Horev and John Lea, still hasn't addressed the secondary aspect of the menu, as a visible map of the functionality in an app.

"We’ll make sure it’s easy for developers working in any toolkit to take advantage of this and give their users a better experience," Shuttleworth writes. "And we’ll promote the apps which do it best – it makes apps easier to use, it saves time and screen real-estate for users, and it creates a better impression of the free software platform when it’s done well."

To read the full blog, head here.

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  • 5 Hide
    ajay_vishvanathan , January 25, 2012 7:42 AM
    wow.. someone is actually competing windows!!! that is awesome people.. i loved ubuntu.. i love ubuntu.. and i will continue to love ubuntu.. ^_^
  • 4 Hide
    alidan , January 25, 2012 9:11 AM
    ajay_vishvanathanwow.. someone is actually competing windows!!! that is awesome people.. i loved ubuntu.. i love ubuntu.. and i will continue to love ubuntu.. ^_^

    how are they competing?
  • 3 Hide
    ajay_vishvanathan , January 25, 2012 9:42 AM
    alidanhow are they competing?

    in terms of UI.. now they added what windows has.. voice recognition.. and the search is better as compared to windows.. its faster in booting, tries to pack the drivers like windows, what not? and they are free on top of that.. the difference?? it wont support .exe, .msi files. but we got wine hq, run on linux etc there..
  • 1 Hide
    indian-art , January 25, 2012 10:47 AM
    Very futuristic.

    Now we can get the productivity of a fighter pilot with the 'intenterface' HUD! :) 
  • 0 Hide
    g4114rd0 , January 25, 2012 11:13 AM
     - ”A healthy penguin can usually swim faster than a ... “
  • 1 Hide
    mobrocket , January 25, 2012 11:15 AM
    ubuntu is great, however i left cus of unity.. but with gnome 3 being pretty much the same... and windows 8 going to something similar, might as well make the switch
  • 2 Hide
    doorspawn , January 25, 2012 11:25 AM
    As a 10.04 user who refuses to downgrade to 11.x, I want to know if I'm going to be able to avoid any UI changes that Canonical decides are better but really aren't, for me. (eg, the immovable Unity launcher that groups tasks, sure it's good for some, but not me).

    IE, has Canonical dropped the "we know how to best set up your desktop, and everyone's needs are the same" attitude and gone back to letting us customise everything the way we like it?

    There are many who jumped ship with 11.04, but there are still probably many others waiting to see whether Ubuntu might yet fix things.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 25, 2012 11:30 AM
    Make this release a more faster, leaner, stable and reliable distro. Common Ubuntu/Canonical you can deliver this kind of distro as what you did with version 8.04LTS and 10.04LTS...
  • 1 Hide
    doorspawn , January 25, 2012 11:30 AM
    mobrocketubuntu is great, however i left cus of unity.. but with gnome 3 being pretty much the same... and windows 8 going to something similar, might as well make the switch


    Since there are plenty of alternatives, why move to something you don't like?
    There are enormous numbers of anti-unity users who jumped to mint, enough to keep things current and working fine. I'm probably headed to mint if 12.x doesn't let me keep the features that I find most efficient.
  • 2 Hide
    digiex , January 25, 2012 12:13 PM
    If only games have native linux support...
  • 0 Hide
    gogogadgetliver , January 25, 2012 12:16 PM
    ajay_vishvanathanin terms of UI.. now they added what windows has.. voice recognition.. and the search is better as compared to windows.. its faster in booting, tries to pack the drivers like windows, what not? and they are free on top of that.. the difference?? it wont support .exe, .msi files. but we got wine hq, run on linux etc there..


    While I won't be abandoning Windows because I like it better (yes yes, I've used iOS and many nix distros). But I certainly appreciate these advances and the competition keeps Microsoft charging. Windows has had voice for years now but this sounds like it's pushing into more of a natural voice interpretation. Impressive.
  • 0 Hide
    PrimalGecko , January 25, 2012 12:35 PM
    I liked playing with 11.10 and it was much better than 11.04. That's not to say that 11.x was better than 10.x, but as they are evolving the OS, they are doing some things right and I hope Canonical can continue making positive changes to Ubuntu in each successive version. I'm looking forward to 12.04 and giving it a good run on my PC. For my laptop, I'll stay with Mint.
  • 1 Hide
    DaddyW123 , January 25, 2012 12:59 PM
    I want the Ubuntu TV project (OS to be built into physical TV's) to be included in the actual Ubuntu OS so I can have my HTPC. I've been using Windows Media Center for a long time and it's working fine, but I'd like more flexibility with my recordings. I tried MythTV a while ago but that was to complicated. And I didn't feel like paying for Beyond TV (even though my dad has it and he likes it) because they use several different packages to get the same experience from a full media center.
  • 0 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , January 25, 2012 1:35 PM
    problem, you need very good microphones to use it. notebook integrated mics are... almost non-functional.
  • 0 Hide
    JeTJL , January 25, 2012 1:51 PM
    seems like Windows, and Ubuntu are pushing boundaries when it comes to navigation of your computer. we had the same old. for over 15 years. But wasn't the good old start menu at the bottom or top with icons on a desktop already the best solution for Desktops and Laptops? I can't really find my self using the new Metro Ui, or the HUD from Ubuntu. Who knows though probably these new interfaces are the way to go.
  • 0 Hide
    andywork78 , January 25, 2012 2:00 PM
    MAC and linux are going to hot this year and getting bigger.
    Expensive MS software~ STOP !!

    They are coming !!
  • -1 Hide
    Pawessum16 , January 25, 2012 2:31 PM
    New features don't mean crap to me unless they're rock solid stable, and I have yet to come across a hot shot Linux GUI that is rock solid. There seems to always be some kind of bug that makes them randomly crash on me or some strange error occur. Windows and OSX are for GUI's and Linux is for command lines. Period.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , January 25, 2012 2:39 PM
    ajay_vishvanathanin terms of UI.. now they added what windows has.. voice recognition.. and the search is better as compared to windows.. its faster in booting, tries to pack the drivers like windows, what not? and they are free on top of that.. the difference?? it wont support .exe, .msi files. but we got wine hq, run on linux etc there..


    by competing i mean trying to catch up, or anything like that.
    alt oses have always done certain aspects better than windows, but no alt os does everything better, or even does everything reasonable enough that people would consider it a real alternative to windows for the casual.
  • 1 Hide
    davewolfgang , January 25, 2012 4:13 PM
    I've moved to Mint and love it. I hope they don't move to some of this "new" cr@p that belongs on a tablet or phone, but NOT ON A PC!!!
  • 0 Hide
    hunshiki , January 25, 2012 4:40 PM
    ajay_vishvanathanwow.. someone is actually competing windows!!! that is awesome people.. i loved ubuntu.. i love ubuntu.. and i will continue to love ubuntu.. ^_^


    I think it would be the best for the users, if the interface would look similar. If they can adapt faster, easier, the more users will Ubuntu get. My grandma, my sisters, etc ... don't want to talk to the computer, nor this feature. Just use the computer as they are used to.

    They are happy if something "just works" like under Windows. They don't want to re-learn the whole "computer thing".

    My opinion: Ubuntu is going in the wrong direction.
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