Mouse-free computing is not really unknown to us. We navigate on our smartphones, tablets, and e-reader using touchscreen technology. And I’m sure this is just the beginning of interacting with computers without a mouse. So, can we ever ditch the mouse completely for more hands free technologies?
Consumers who play video games have used this for a while. The Wii and the PlayStation employ gesture-sensing technology. This technology allows users to grasp a wireless remote and use their body movements to swing a racket, jog in place, or shoot menacing robots on screen. Although this technology has not been perfected it’s not difficult to imagine how gesture sensing could be applied to computing.
Multi-touch technology is yet another interactive innovation that is being utilized 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 images on their screens. Since this is a relatively new technology it’s still being refined. How do you think this will be used in the future to allow us easier navigation around our computers?
Another possible technological advancement that could replace the mouse involves voice recognition. Rather than clicking on a mouse button to open up a program, users can merely tell their computers to open an individual word file or close iTunes. Some of this already exists, most notable is Dragon NaturallySpeaking, which allows users to dictate reports and stories to their word-processing programs. Again, the tech still needs refinement, but a future where we talk to our computers isn’t all that far-fetched.
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 some time.