Enso, or, another kind of intelligent paper

Enso is a new product with a really neat approach: it hijacks the capslock key so that when you hold it down it activates itself wherever you may be, and offers you a cleverly-autocompleting range of options. You can do wordcounts or spellchecks or definitions or thesaurus checks on highlighted text whatever application you are in (from Notepad to Eclispe), or if you highlight a calculation (e.g. 22/7) and start typing “calculate” (“c” and “enter” will autocomplete) it replaces the highlighted text with the result.

Yes, typing while holding down another key was awkward at first, but within an hour (and after switching the trigger key from capslock to the right control key) I found it very convenient.

The point they make is that they are enabling the computer to do side things that you want without forcing you to lose your main train of thought.

Worth bearing in mind when we create user interfaces: are there ways that we aren’t currently exploring to give users what they need without forcing them into lockstep?

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