We have already had a taste of mouse-free computing. Touchscreens on our smartphones and tablets let us search the Internet, compose e-mail messages, send texts, and stream movies, all without using a mouse. So what on earth do you think this will lead us to in the future? How will we interact with our computers in the coming decades? After we ditch the mouse, what comes next?
Consumers who own Wii or PlayStation video game systems have already got an idea of this. These two game systems offer users the chance to play games and explore the internet through wireless remotes that synch with body movements. Wii players can smack a tennis ball by swinging their hands when they hold a wireless remote. They can jog in place, climb a virtual mountain, or shoot menacing robots in the same way. This is known as gesture sensing. The tech isn’t quite ready for standard computing yet. However, it isn’t difficult to imagine a future where gesture sensing becomes one of the primary modes of interacting with our computers.
Multi-touch technology is another interactive innovation that is being employed in a few common devices, namely, tablets, e-readers, and smartphones. This technology allows users to tap icons to open program, pinch or extend their fingers to zoom or minimize the pictures on their screens. As this is a fairly new technology it is still being refined. How do you think this will be utilized down the road to allow us easier navigation around our computers?
Another possibility for controlling computers is vocal recognition. This technology already exists and is quickly rising in popularity as developers work out the kinks. One of the popular common vendors is Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Vocal recognition technology has a ways to go before it is perfect, but technologies improve so rapidly these days that I don’t see it being too long before voice-command functionality becomes standard in all devices.
While there are lots of ways computing can be improved through hands free navigation technologies. It’s likely we will not see the traditional mouse disappear for some time.