What does “Heads Up Display” have to Offer?
Heads up display will create “a new generation of application interfaces”, as claimed by Mark Shuttleworth.
In his interview at OMGUbuntu, John Lea tells us about the use-case of HUD.
Currently the HUD provides a fast and efficient way to complete any journey that involves using an application menu. It also assists in making functionality more discoverable; just type what you want to do and the HUD will match and display the available options, even if some of those options are normally hidden in a sub-sub-menu.
This is especially useful to users who are transitioning from proprietary apps to free software as it removes the work of having to learn where the functionality they previously used in proprietary apps resides in the free software alternative.
However, if you are more comfortable with menus, or even if you are remotely worried about remembering commands on end, Mark Shuttleworth has made it clear in his blog post that HUD will not replace menus, but will augment them. So, you do not lose the usability of an application in which you are not well versed. On the other hand, you will find it easier and faster to use familiar applications.
The future of HUD
The current release of HUD is just the beginning of an awesome journey. It is more like a preview of what is going to come. Though, what is going to come will blow your mind. Canonical has made it clear that they plan to bring in speech recognition into HUD and then, you can speak to your application! Not just this, some natural language processing with recognition of context will take Ubuntu to a whole new level, in the world of Linux distros. Furthermore, some nifty features like suggestion and auto-complete from history can be improved further.