Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Death of the Keyboard? It's not just the keys that are numbered...

I bet there's a keyboard within two feet of you right now, be it mechanical, or virtual.
You'll probably use at least three different keyboards today, which for me at least makes the keyboard more ubiquitous than the teacup.

In one guise or another, the idea of pressing buttons to produce one character at a time has been with us since 1714 and has evolved considerably in that period.
So it's been with us for a while, but personally I think the keyboard's days are well and truly numbered.

Don't get me wrong, the day you have to go to a specialist shop for an antique piece of 'typing aparatus' aren't upon us yet, but I think soon it will be possible for even the most hardened technophile to get through the average day without typing a letter.

We're halfway there already. Between Google Now and Siri, you don't really have to touch your smartphone any more to bend it's powers to your will, though there are still limitations. Touchscreens are making a valiant effort to kill the mouse and even the humble Ford Focus comes with voice control (dubbed SYNC).

In the office, things like the Leap Motion and Space Top are promising to revolutionise the way we think of the 'desktop', stripping out the middlemen of the mouse and keyboard and freeing your hands to be the expressive and dexterous tools that they were meant to be.

Couple these concepts together in a package like Google Glass or the Oculus Rift you end up with a picture more advanced than Star Trek, with people searching for, creating and sharing information without ever pushing a button. It's a fascinating technological landscape that has sweeping implications for Smoothwall and our ilk.

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