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Friday, July 25, 2008

Psych - Computer mouse heading for extinction - NOT


The article below written by Guy Dixon made quite the stir online with bloggers throughout the world. But, it didn't take into consideration the ergonomics of a large, face-to-face touch screen for day-to-day activities. Sure, the touch screen is ideal for palm held devices, but consider reaching over your desk for a few hours trying to complete daily tasks! I think your arm and shoulder would get pretty tired really fast. My mouse is my buddy! Over the years we have acquired a closed relationship, and there's no way I'm going to let go of my ergonomically correct, optical mouse anytime soon.
Actually, if the keyboard is predicted to stay, then the mouse should stay, too. Maybe the mouse's job would change somewhat and not be used 100% of the time, but try to vision a mouseless day, only using a Wii pointer remote control, facial recognition and a touch screen by reaching over your keyboard to a desk top screen.
The use of touch screens on palm held devices and small laptops makes sense. But, many of us sit at a computer for ten hours each day. I'd be lost without a mouse. I don't think the human body is built to handle some of the predictions in Dixon's article.
Like many others, we disagree. The Computer Mouse is not heading for extinction. There are new technologies on the rise, and advancements will include touch screens and facial recognition, but kill the mouse? We think NOT!

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from VnuNet

Humble input device being usurped by touch screens and facial recognition

The computer mouse is set to die out in the next five years and will be usurped by touch screens and facial recognition, analysts believe. Gartner said that innovations from electronics firms creating new interactive interfaces for gaming and smartphones are driving the demise of the mouse.

Steven Prentice, vice president and Gartner Fellow, told the BBC that devices such as Nintendo's MotionPlus for the Wii and Apple's iPhone point the way to the future, offering greater accuracy in motion detection. "With the Wii you point and shake and it vibrates back at you so you have a two-way relationship," said the analyst.

"The new generation of smartphones like the iPhone all now have tilting mechanisms or you can shake the device to do one or more things." Prentice also highlighted home entertainment efforts from Panasonic which employ hand and facial recognition techniques to display information in place of a conventional remote control.

However, while the mouse's 40 year-old reign is coming to an end, the keyboard is here to stay, according to the analyst. "For all its faults, the keyboard will remain the primary text input device. Nothing is easily going to replace it," he said. "But the idea of a keyboard with a mouse as a control interface is breaking down."

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