DailyDirt: Who Needs A Mouse And Keyboard Anymore?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Tech news headlines often imply that a new gadget will completely kill off older devices by making them obsolete. Tablets were supposed to "kill" the PC, but that hasn't happened. On the other side of the spectrum, some folks have suggested that no tool ever completely dies. However, that's an extreme position, too. Innovation involves a succession of minor improvements, and occasionally, there are advances that are so significant that people can't help but try to explain the shifts in exaggerated black-and-white terms. The actual story is usually much more complex. We're getting more and more cool input methods beyond simple keyboards, and here are just a few nifty gadgets that probably won't replace keyboards (or mice) but might make human-to-computer communication a bit easier for people. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2014 @ 5:37pm

    Bluetooth Retainer

    I personally would rather use my tongue to control a HUD. Pair it with your phone or Google glass and you don't need to touch the screen again. A side bonus would be a much faster input that would be very helpful in certain gaming leagues. Recharge overnight and walk around your home all day making your smart devices do your bidding with no visible actions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2014 @ 4:37am

      Re: Bluetooth Retainer

      Additional screen scroll control could be obtained via head bob and shake, the only downside would be everyone else in the vicinity thinking you need your own padded room.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    CK20XX (profile), 4 Nov 2014 @ 5:38pm

    I'm not a big fan of alternate input methods after watching motion control come and go with the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Kinect. Buttons became popular as a control scheme because they standardize everything; there are no skill gates keeping you from using equipment because you aren't good enough at speaking or pantomiming actions or something else. Most people who invent these things also seem to underestimate how important sensory feedback, like the feel of a key compressing under your fingertip, is to a good control system.

    That said though, there are many kinds of people in the world other than myself, and the Kinect's potential seemed to make it useful for all kind of things... except video games.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2014 @ 6:45pm

    ROB is going to replace the Nintendo controller any day now...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bergman (profile), 4 Nov 2014 @ 6:48pm

    It's quite true that no tool ever completely dies.

    After all, nobody really uses stone tools any more, but lots of people still use hammers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      CK20XX (profile), 4 Nov 2014 @ 7:02pm

      Re: It's quite true that no tool ever completely dies.

      Sometimes the tools improve by using better kinds of stone too. Obsidian is sharper than any metal knife, so though it does wear out much faster, surgeons use it all the time to make quick clean cuts without anesthetic.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2014 @ 4:41am

      Re: It's quite true that no tool ever completely dies.

      Yeah, no one uses stone tools.
      I bet you have really sharp knives.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anon, 4 Nov 2014 @ 8:17pm

    Mouse and Keyboard

    Until they have something that can read my mind with very good accuracy I do not think I will be giving up my physical mouse or keyboard

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2014 @ 8:29pm

    full circle

    Quite often, technology goes full circle. We started out with the telegraph, switched to the telephone, and then went to email and "texting" -- short messages using truncated sentences and abbreviated language that by bizarre coincidence closely resembled the kind of text messages sent over telegraph a century and a half earlier.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 4 Nov 2014 @ 10:10pm

    HaptoMime - hard on your ears

    HaptoMime will never make it in the home due to all the howling your dog will do while you try to use it. ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2014 @ 12:12am

    Who needs a keyboard?

    Every (competent) system/network administrator on the planet. After all, if you cannot work at the command line, you are not a professional: you are merely a button-pushing monkey.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2014 @ 4:52am

    Re: briquetting machine, briquetting machine manufacturer

    Good for you, Mr Briquethead

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Wing, 5 Nov 2014 @ 5:01am

    As a programmer, I type at such a ridiculous rate that I think it will be a long time before another method of input will allow me to jam that many bits from my brain into the computer. As a blogger, I think that day will come a little sooner, maybe even with speech to text. But I can't picture myself saying "left curly brace enter tab tab tab" and waving my arms around or wagging my tongue seems like more work than I'm doing now. Maybe programming languages will evolve.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John85851 (profile), 5 Nov 2014 @ 3:40pm

      Re:

      I think every new technology has its good side and down side.
      I was going to say that dictation and speech-to-text would replace the keyboard, but like Mark said above, it's a little hard to say all the programming keywords.

      And when you're dictating a text message on a phone, why not just call the person?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    art guerrilla (profile), 5 Nov 2014 @ 6:13am

    yeah, but...

    1. touch screens are problematic on a number of levels... for instance, when i went from a phone with a slide out chiclet keyboard, to an onscreen POS 'keyboard', i simply don't text any where near as much as i did before, because it is SUCH A PIECE OF SHIT to 'type' on those idiotic monstrosities...
    (and, no, i did not have a choice, my better half got them, but if i'd have known what a PITA it is to 'type' on those screen keyboards, i would have NEVER gotten a 'smart' phone...)
    2. using touch screens on a computer is exhausting to constantly hold your arm up to slide over a greasy screen... not viable for the type of CAD work i do...
    3. as another programmer above alluded to, if you depend on your computer interaction to involve a fair amount of text, the keyboard is simply a damn good solution...
    again, voice-to-text gets good enough (maybe it is now, don't know) then that might be a fairly good tool to use... but not sure how that would work out in -say- our open-plan office layout where everyone is in one big room with no real dividers/cubicles... we're ALL going to be blah blah blahing to our computers and that won't cause any problems ? man, that is going to be one noisy office...
    (not to mention, saying "browse pron" in the middle of the office might not go over too well...)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 5 Nov 2014 @ 6:37am

      Re: yeah, but...

      Yes, as an owner of phones and tablets with touch screens and a daily user of laptops with touch screens, it's my opinion that while they work well as a mouse replacement on hand-help devices, they pretty much completely suck for every other use case: they are awful to type on, and they're inconvenient and tiring to use on anything that you can't hold in one hand.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 5 Nov 2014 @ 4:26pm

    I vote for both mouse and keyboard

    First of all, the mandatory disclaimer. I'm probably unusual in that I type around 60 words per minute. I guess that makes me biased.

    But touch screens cut my typing speed to a dismal crawl. I can't imagine writing a book on one of those. Or a program.

    And touch...is the mouse family's dark-secret closeted retarded brother. I'd like to think I'm competent with touch, but it is always selecting the wrong thing or not selecting/ignoring touch, or double-touching when I touched once. Then there's the tools you can't use because they require drags you can't do with touch, and heaven help you if you want to select a point between two letter i's.

    We spent 140 years perfecting the keyboard and 30 years perfecting the mouse. Screen keyboards and touch have a loooooooooooooooooooonnnnnng way to go before they're anything like as practical.

    While I'm ranting: I have a pad and use it routinely; a high end smartphone and use it too. My conclusion is that they are toys, not productivity devices. As they stand, no one will ever make their living using one. If you want a laugh, just imagine trying to work your way through a spreadsheet with 70 columns and 1.3 million rows; or trying to compare two spreadsheets (switching apps at the rate of 30 times per minute); or writing War and Peace.

    They're fine for browsing, sound/video, and short e-messages, but that's about it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2014 @ 11:26pm

    I don't think it's much of an exaggeration to say the mouse and keyboard will never die. No other method of input will come close to it's effectiveness until we start wiring computers directly into our brain. Everything else is a shitty substitute generally employed in form factors that make a keyboard/mouse impractical.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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