Mouse-free computing is something we've just begun to taste. We have touchscreens on many devices including tablets, phones, and e-readers. These allow us to access the web; send texts, and emails all without a mouse. So is this the shape of things to come? Will we eventually leave the mouse in the dust and move on to more advanced ways of communicating with our computers?
Gesture sensing is one thing most gamers are familiar with. The PlayStation and Wii both make use of this technology. Simply by using a wireless remote you are able to control the game using only body movements. This technology hasn't been perfected or widely applied to computing but think about the possibilities. Perhaps in the future we will boot our computer by putting on a sensor bracelet and every little gesture we make will perform a task on our computer!
Multi-touch technology is yet another interactive innovation. This is what is being applied whenever you tap your smartphone screen to access programs, or swipe your finger across the surface of your tablet to switch screens. In the past couple of years we have seen lots of growth in this technology. Do you think this will become the primary way we navigate around our computers?
Another possibility for controlling computers is vocal recognition. This technology already exists and is quickly gaining in popularity as developers work out the kinks. One of the most 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 a long time before voice-command functionality becomes standard in every devices.
While there are lots of ways computing can be improved through hands free navigation technologies. It’s likely we will not see the well known mouse disappear for years.