I read an interesting article on a ZDNet blog today, saying that mice (erm, the one beside your keyboard, not the real ones) are here to stay, at least for the next 5 years.
Somehow, I do agree with the author. I, for one, is someone who has tried several types of input devices (my family members can vouch for that!). I’ve gone from from crazy jumbo-functional keyboards, to voice recognition, to tablets to pen scanners… and somehow, all these devices are “collecting dust” in my computer hardware
junkyard cabinet today.
To be frank, I feel the issue is not with limitations of technology – the fact is the tablets, voice recognition systems and pen scanners do work well. The issue with these devices, however, is that these are great for one or two applications, but work terribly for another. For example, voice recognition is great if you want to type a document, but is not yet robust enough when you want to issue commands like “save this file”.
The other issue is with cost. Look at this video on Microsoft’s Surface – their “Table PC”. I’m sure if you are reading this post at all, you will WANT to get one. The issue is… can this technology be economical enough for mass adoption? I doubt so – not in the first 5 years from the time it hits the market.
The fact is, there is power in simplicity and affordability. Today, you can get an excellent optical mouse and keyboard at less than $20 a set, and with that, you can type, point, hover, drag, click, double-click, scroll… and that is good enough for all of the tasks you need performed on you computer today. More importantly, the keyboard and mouse is intuitive enough for most users.
Website owners, are you making things simple and affordable for your readers? Do you really need THAT blog theme with fancy graphics and AJAX animated plug-ins? Think about it. 🙂