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16 Of The Year’s Best Ideas In UI Design

From a concept that would allow you to drag files from your phone to computer, to a to-do list that isn’t a drag, here are the most promising designs that connect the physical and digital worlds.

Half the world hasn’t even realized it yet, but we’re facing one of the greatest design challenges in humanity’s history: How do we connect this cloud-based digital world we’ve so quickly inhabited with the analog world we’ve inhabited for so long? It’s a problem greater than any one microchip, wireless standard, or ingenious gadget: It’s a problem of melding meat and bits. It’s a problem of interface.

Already, we’re seeing the best and brightest repositioning themselves for this murkier hybrid world. With Windows 8, Microsoft adopted a universal interface with the realization that the PC was dead. Yet a mere Kickstarter project called Twine may be even more important in the grand scheme, as it leverages smart sensors and a clever web UI to keep track of dumb, analog objects in the big data cloud.

Indeed, 2012 was a very big year for the future of UI. Here are our favorite projects to catch up on before 2013 takes over and this whole list is, inevitably, antiquated.

About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started Philanthroper.com, a simple way to give back every day.

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