I’ve had the privilege to work in education/training and the technology field for over 31 years. I’ve seen a lot. I remember my very first digital camera – it could save 10 JPG images on a 3.5 floppy drive. The batteries wouldn’t last very long because you had to read and write information on the floppy drive. That’s a lot of moving parts.
Over the years I’ve learned to evaluate new technology coming onto the scene. While I’m not always right, I do get pretty good at looking at what is hype and what has staying power. So rather than writing what I think is coming, I’m going to write on hype that I think is going to shrink in importance. The thing that I think that will lose importance over time is GESTURES. I’m not talking too much about gestures on your phone – but more about the computer interface.
There is a lot of hype around making technology where you have gestures to control the interface. There are a number of videos showing video walls or interactive glass where you can drag and move things around. While this is really neat and looks cool, it’s not practical. About two years ago, there was a TV crew taping one of my classes to make a promotional video. During the recording, I was teaching a 3D Drawing class. I spent a fair bit of time at the Smart Board moving things around with the touch screen. So I was teaching using gestures. At the end of the three hour class, I was exhausted. All that gesturing wore me out.
Have you heard people complain about carpal tunnel from typing? Can you imagine the complaints you would hear about back, shoulders, neck and arms if you spend days making gestures?
The first mouse was invented somewhere around in 1964 but wasn’t revealed to the public until 1968. Shortly after that, the technology world is attempting to replace the mouse with a better technology. Almost 50 years later, there is nothing that has knocked off the mouse. I don’t see the mouse leaving any time soon.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you think gestures with computers will replace the mouse? Let’s start a discussion.