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Is “Touch” Better Than Keyboard/Mouse Combo?

By AaronSamp - Friday, August 24, 2012

With a huge wave of touch screen devices coming to market, many people are starting to wonder if we are not going to have a mouse and keyboard in the years to come. I for one do not think that a touch screen keyboard will ever totally replace a real one, but some people think that my way of thinking is becoming the minority. I must admit, that from the first touch screen device I used, to the recent touch devices there has been a huge leap forward in this technology. In fact now that touch surfaces no longer rely on the pressure touching the screen alone makes a huge difference. No longer do you need a stylus to write, choose icons or make other on screen action work because the latest touch devices depend on a person’s finger breaking the electrical surface tension of the device.

The newer capacitive touch screens are very responsive to the touch, but do run into trouble if the user is wearing gloves or trying to use fingernails to select objects on screen. This does make typing with more than one finger in a more natural hand position style possible. There are some people in the tech world that think touch is great, but at the same time it is only a leaping point for newer and even more interactive types of computer control.

Is Touch Typing Dead?

When you are taught to type you learn to “feel” the keys. Without a physical keyboard it is very hard to keep your eyes off of the keyboard to see where your fingers are at on the keyboard. I for one, cannot imagine ever going away from the keyboard altogether after learning how to type this way. On the other hand, there are many who are children now, that may not learn to type in typing class, but on an iPad instead. Will this lead to a new generation that is no longer dependant on feeling real keys beneath their fingers?

What Comes After Touch As A Human Interface?

There are many people that believe that just like the keyboard and mouse have almost become obsolete already, that the same thing will soon happen to touch screen displays. Of course, the lifecycle of touch devices is sure to be for many many years, there is always a newer better way to do things and that really is the nature of technology when it comes down to it. Innovations constantly changes the way we do things and who would have thought we would have touch screen displays that also display high resolution vivid colors and more? It is hard to believe that there will be another better way to interact with computers in the near future, but there definitely will be some changes coming rather we are ready for them or not.

Kinect May Be The Short Term Answer For New Human Interfaces

Many believe that Kinect type interaction of some sort will be what is next. We all love the seemingly impossible control that Tom Cruise exhibited in the popular movie Minority Report. This type of 3 dimensional motion interaction may be a lot closer than we think. As I was recently downloading the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package (X86) I was offered some other similar downloads and one of them happened to be a Kinect For Windows SDK. This software developer’s kit says that it will work with Windows 7 and Windows 8 devices.

So the technology really is here now, it just has yet to be developed. This SDK supports gesture based motions as well and voice recognition. With the video and audio capabilities of the Kinect, developers are only limited by their minds to all the new ways we could be controlling our Windows desktop machines and it would not be surprising to see special Kinect devices releases for PC users, not just gamers in the next few years.

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