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Will the keyboard be dead in ten years time?

Posted on 12th Jun 2010 at 10:24 by Alex Watson with 65 comments

Alex Watson
I was talking to Tim, the editor of PC Pro last night about Computex 2010, and that while the show had lacked a killer product, there had been a real sense that the massive companies which have dominated computing for the past thirty years – Intel, Microsoft, etc – are suddenly looking very vulnerable.

Tim mentioned that a while back, a senior member of Sony’s Vaio design team had bet him that keyboards would be dead within ten years. At the time, it seemed a sure thing – QWERTY reigned supreme. Now though, he’s not so sure.

I think both Tim and the man from Sony can argue that they’re on course to win the bet. In offices and homes around the world, keyboards are still the default way people enter information into computers, and it's hard to imagine entering an essay into a computer using any of the alternatives.

However, keyboards are not the only way we interact with computer devices. Touchscreen interfaces are becoming more common, and judging from the number of tablets we saw at Computab Computex this year, they’re going to explode in popularity very soon.

The free availability of a tablet OS (Android) and the choice of cheap, non-x86 CPUs from ARM has driven the cost of non-QWERTY hardware through the floor, and the iPhone and iPad have proven the market’s interest in quick, internet focussed devices.

Still, it's not like we're going to start using the iPad instead of a real computer.... right? Well, maybe not the iPad, but you need to consider how basic current touchscreen devices are. With the iPhone, a user can really only perform basic object manipulation – pressing your finger on an app really isn't that far off a double-click, and swiping through photos and pinch-to-zoom aren't too complex either - but we're clearly only at the very beginning.

The processing power of touchscreen devices is rising at a vertiginous rate. My iPhone 3G is two years old; it has a 412MHz CPU, and when I replace it, the device will likely by clocked at 1GHz - Motorola is even rumoured to have a 2GHz phone due by the end of the year. Touchscreen devices aren't just faster, they're also packing ever more sophisticated sensors - the iPhone 3G has GPS, the 3GS added a compass, iPhone 4 adds a gyroscope. Together, these two tech trends will mean future devices will be able to both gather more data (where they are in space, where the user is and where objects are) and process it at ever faster speeds, all leading to incredible possibilities for UI design.

But don't just listen to me. I suggest you watch the video below – it’s simply incredible, and gives a very credible vision of where interfaces will be headed in the next decade. Beam me up, dudes.

65 Comments

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rickysio 12th June 2010, 11:35 Quote
Unlikely - unless Nokia does come out with it's Haptikos technology that disappeared some time ago, I'd still prefer physical feedback during text entry.
azrael- 12th June 2010, 11:43 Quote
It's about as unlikely as monitors being obsolete in 10 years.
mi1ez 12th June 2010, 11:47 Quote
Q: Will the keyboard be dead in ten years time?
A: no
mi1ez 12th June 2010, 12:04 Quote
great vid btw
capnPedro 12th June 2010, 12:12 Quote
The keyboard will die as soon as we get a reliable, useful computer-to-brain link cable and not a moment sooner.

Anyone who wants to enter thousand word essays on a touchscreen needs beating with a blunt keyboard. And don't even get get me started on using voice recognition to dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all.
The_Beast 12th June 2010, 12:19 Quote
Highly doubtful but you never know
tristanperry 12th June 2010, 12:33 Quote
Doubt it. Touch-sceen makes for a nice UI 'feature'/input device, however keyboards still fulfil an important role.
Sonofalich 12th June 2010, 13:05 Quote
What ever technology evolves too, there will always be people who want to use physical input devices.

I can't imagine it's going to get amazingly accurate on say FPS games without a mouse for example and even if it does, will it be better than a mouse? Or just on par?

I really can't see UI's ever replacing keyboards either, as other users have stated. Good luck writing 5,000 word essays on a touch screen. Again also for gaming, slight movement in some games would kill you, I think it will be a long time before any "special" device can properly replicate the accuracy and sensitivity of a keyboard.

Interesting but not at all likely.
FuzzyOne 12th June 2010, 13:13 Quote
no
_Metal_Guitar_ 12th June 2010, 16:16 Quote
Dead as in you can't buy them from anywhere, or dead as in it's just become more of an uncommon item?

I wouldn't rule anything out, 10 years is a long time.
Psytek 12th June 2010, 16:26 Quote
Nothing is as fast.
Vice recognition might get good enough in ten years that it gets close to the words per minute of a good typist, but it would be way to noisy and would have all sorts of privacy issues.

Keyboards are here to stay. Although maybe not qwerty, maybe dvorak :P
rickysio 12th June 2010, 17:16 Quote
I type slower on Dvorak than QWERTY, despite having spent in excess of 2 weeks acclimatizing. QWERTY FTW.
loftie 12th June 2010, 17:22 Quote
I can't see it happening. As someone pointed out, voice recognition is still unreliable, and anything with a touch-screen, still has a keyboard on it, albeit not a physical one. Even those projection keyboards are still keyboards at the end of the day :)
Woodspoon 12th June 2010, 17:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by loftie
anything with a touch-screen, still has a keyboard on it, albeit not a physical one. Even those projection keyboards are still keyboards at the end of the day :)

Spot on

So even if you do away with the keyboard physically, there will still have to be one in one form or another just for input of some form.
Kasius 12th June 2010, 17:43 Quote
Great presentation, 5 years though.. Really?
Fizzban 12th June 2010, 18:38 Quote
Was an interesting presentation. I think 5 years seems a little unlikely, but who knows.
robots 12th June 2010, 19:30 Quote
I can't see this changing for loooong time.

The keyboard will still be here in 20 years because a lot of the companies I deal with at work, still run pentium 4's etc.. There are countless businesses who don't care about hardware. They run onboard graphics, no sound, ancient processors, 1gig of ram, windows 2000 or whatever. Part of the problem is that they have so many users that even one small upgrade, multiplied by a thousand staff, ends up being really expensive. But it's also due to the fact that the average typist, data entry, spreadsheet, call centre, etc..etc..etc.. doesn't need any fancy hardware at all.

It's only really gamers and enthusiasts (like most of the people that visit this website), who care about progress. A PC in 2010 is not a whole lot different to a PC in 1981, and that's because it's a good design. Keyboard and mouse is by far the best input method. Touch screen is great on my little iPhone, but if I had to touch my monitor to control my PC, my arms would get tired after around 2 minutes. I could put the monitor on my lap, but then the back of my neck would get sore after 2 minutes. Waving my arms around like minority report would be even worse. The best way to use a PC is to sit in a nice big comfortable chair, with a PC screen at head height, at a good distance from your face so that you can read stuff clearly but it's not too close. My hands lazily lie on top of the keyboard and mouse, and the spongy leather arm rests of my chair suspend my elbows.

As someone else said above, the only way I can see this control method really changing, is when they come up with a better link to our brain. Apparently there is a way to do that already, but it's very early days.

That presentation was brilliant though, and I can see new ways like that having a big effect on the future of how some industries interact with their computers. Presentations, C.A.D, etc. But it's not for me, or the average PC user.
g3n3tiX 12th June 2010, 19:42 Quote
And just how are the geeks around the world going to code ?
Also, we'll need a keyboard somewhere in the process to code the application drawing the on screen tactile keyboard !
SNIPERMikeUK 12th June 2010, 19:58 Quote
In a word 'no'....I got an ipad and to be honest its very responsive but, if I was using it for iworks or something the wireless keyboard is the better option.
Hugo 12th June 2010, 21:07 Quote
I've put far too much effort into learning to type to allow the keyboard to become obsolete.
Techno-Dann 12th June 2010, 21:22 Quote
Yeah... somehow, I doubt it.

He mentions (in the video) the absurdity of a keyboard and screen - how they aren't even in the same plane. What he doesn't touch on, however, is a very important concept: Feedback. When I type a key, I feel it depress and then stop and hear a clicky sound, along with the obvious appearing of characters. Even on a touchscreen keyboard, I feel the physical contact with the screen. In the handwavey interface he demonstrates, the only feedback he's getting is visual, and visual feedback for kinetic input is at least twice as bad as the metaphor shear caused by two different planes.

Also, how, precisely, am I supposed to write this without a keyboard?
Code:
 // update mapMatrix with chosenFilter
for(int i = 0; i < mapMatrix.getX(); i++)
{
    for(int j = 0; j < mapMatrix.getX(); j++)
    {
        outMap[i][j] = applyFilter2D(chosenFilter, mapMatrix, i, j);
    }
}

I'm open to suggestions, but somehow I don't see waving my hands around in the air getting as user-friendly and fast as a keyboard any time soon, especially when it comes to non-English text work such as coding.
knuck 12th June 2010, 21:24 Quote
To me voice recognition and touchscreens are what motion controllers are for gaming; a gimmick and/or good for special tasks, but definitely not a replacement
Nexxo 12th June 2010, 21:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
It's about as unlikely as monitors being obsolete in 10 years.
QFT.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techno-Dann
Also, how, precisely, am I supposed to write this without a keyboard?
Code:
 // update mapMatrix with chosenFilter
for(int i = 0; i < mapMatrix.getX(); i++)
{
    for(int j = 0; j < mapMatrix.getX(); j++)
    {
        outMap[j] = applyFilter2D(chosenFilter, mapMatrix, i, j);
    }
}

I'm open to suggestions, but somehow I don't see waving my hands around in the air getting as user-friendly and fast as a keyboard any time soon, especially when it comes to non-English text work such as coding.
Well, [I]that bit is easier. Because programming basically consists of a very simple and predictable grammar with a limited command set (nothing like the complex grammar and 50.000 plus words of an average language) you could in principle use building block icons. Remember: every computer program, no matter how complex, can basically be reduced to a flowchart diagram. So you should be able to write programs in almost the same way as you build a flowchart.
yougotkicked 12th June 2010, 22:43 Quote
While i can certainly see the keyboard's role in computing diminishing, perhaps vanishing in physical form to be replaced by a touchscreen, the simply typing interface will likely last forever. the fact is, voice recognition will always be awkward at best, typing will always be faster, and there really is no easy alternative, perhaps handwriting by stylus, but many people use keyboards because handwriting is more difficult for them.
leslie 12th June 2010, 22:46 Quote
Keyboards and mice will not go away for a long time.
How do I know?
Just try to imagine a room of 30 cubicles with 30 people using any of this technology for 8 hours a day.


Besides, according to many of the same people promoting these alternative methods of input, the PC was supposed to be dead already. Or never have gotten started. None of this will be changed significantly until you make it easier, cheaper, and better than a mouse and keyboard. Which happen to work quite well.
Elton 12th June 2010, 23:47 Quote
It won't die, we'd be exhausted if we had to wave our arms around all the time.
thehippoz 13th June 2010, 00:05 Quote
when I was working at the irs.. there was thousands of computers and a bunch of data processing- if people mail in their taxes you still need to get them in the database and nothing beats a keyboard.. what this guy is doing is shenanigans xD

it's cool but it's not going to work.. I think he likes to work with his hands- enough said.. like bet he has a virtual hands on the brain even in the bathroom :D
azrael- 13th June 2010, 01:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
<SNIP>
Remember: every computer program, no matter how complex, can basically be reduced to a flowchart diagram. So you should be able to write programs in almost the same way as you build a flowchart.
Ever tried developing an IVR application using Envox Studio (works pretty much as you describe)? I wouldn't wish that for my worst enemy. :)
Plugs 13th June 2010, 02:07 Quote
i dont like the iphone/ipad onscreen keyboards because its 100 times easier to feel the keys, and type away
try typing without looking at a touch screen keyboard, and watch yourself fail

maybe keyboards will dissapear when voice recognition comes in, but even still techies will need a keyboard for more complex input

cout << "Hello World!\n" ;
spoken as -> letter c, string out, symbol left arrow, symbol left arrow, symbol quotation, string Hello World, symbol exclamation, symbol backslash, letter n symbol quotation, symbol semi-colon

SOUNDS like keyboards are around to stay
Toploaded 13th June 2010, 03:58 Quote
At the rate oil prices (and therefore the cost of technology) are going up at the moment and are likely to continue to do so, we are more likely to be using typewriters then some fancy touch UI in ten years time ;)

Jokes aside though, we will still be using keyboards for the duration of our life's at least, for reason robots already stated in his post above.
rickysio 13th June 2010, 07:32 Quote
Keyboards will go away when brain reading tech comes into play.

Even so some will prefer keyboard then, because brain reading tech might cause inappropriate content to appear on screen.
Wag 13th June 2010, 07:56 Quote
I'd like to give this kind of technology and forward thinking a lot more credit. There are a lot of companies out there trying to figure out a "better way." To relate it to gamers, just look at Nintendo with the DS and then the Wii. Soon to follow was Natal and the Playstation Move. Voice recognition and touch technologies continue to improve. Tablets you can digitally write on continue to grow in popularity. These technologies are not replacing what already exists, but they are co-existing and supplementing them. Over the course of time they will become more commonplace and eventually may even approach eliminating them.

Do not misunderstand.

That is not to say that they will be completely eliminating those technologies. There will always be a place for the old tools. They will not ever go away completely. People haven’t completely forsaken their televisions because of Betamax, or VHS, or DVD’s or TiVo, or Hulu. These technologies simply improve what already exists which is exactly what this guy is talking about.

To say that a room of 1000 IRS workers entering data can't get rid of their keyboards simply is not a forward thinking way of looking at the situation. I am absolutely certain there is a better way of doing that kind of work. The problem is that will likely be expensive to implement in the short term. The technology is currently unwieldy and awkward. Most people aren’t in good enough shape to use these kind of systems for extended periods of time anyway. That may sound like a problem, but to me it sounds more like a solution to America’s growing obesity problem. Over the course of time I would not be the least bit surprised to see whatever the IRS currently uses for their systems slowly evolve into something completely different than what they use now. My guess is the IRS will not be an early adopter of the technology and the private sector will do most, if not all, of the leg work But whether it is five years, fifteen years, or fifty years is anyone’s guess but change will come. To say that the keyboard will be around forever is like saying the stone arrowhead won't ever be replaced by something better.

It’s not a matter of if it will be replaced..... Only a matter of when and by what.
NethLyn 13th June 2010, 11:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wag
It’s not a matter of if it will be replaced..... Only a matter of when and by what.

Except that Tim Danton has form on this, banging on about laptops being the future and replacing everything then changing his mind two years down the line, so I'd take any prediction of his with a sea of salt now.

The keyboard's main evolution has been the connection interface and that's about it, and mobo makers have been reluctant to kill off the PS/2 port even if they might only put one on there nowadays. I certainly don't want to get rid of something with a 30-year economy of scale that makes the replacement cost as low as a fiver.
dyzophoria 13th June 2010, 11:37 Quote
atm, no, unless something comes out in multi-touch/gesture-based control that is revolutionary on itself (multi-touch is promising,gesture-based control is promising, but alot still needs to be done imo). but technically its hard to guess.
Pookeyhead 13th June 2010, 11:37 Quote
All these videos of new technology are great, and wow etc, but they're all only really useful for CAD apps, or presentation etc. I'm sorry, but they'll all be utterly useless for typing your dissertation, or even tapping in some 1337 speak gibberish on /b/. For that, you need a keyboard.

So.. even if the tech for stuff like this becomes cheap and affordable, you'll still need a keyboard attached to your machine for whenever you need to type actual words.
general22 13th June 2010, 12:18 Quote
If the keyboard is dead in ten years I'll eat my TF2 hats.
Unicorn 13th June 2010, 12:45 Quote
Keboards will not be dead in ten years time. The reasons have been discussed already. Pook makes a very good point above. I watched Steve Jobs interviewed at both D1 and D8 recently, and at D1 (2003) he was asked about input methods. I think what he said to distinguish between the usefulness of handwritten input and keyboard input 7 years ago is very relevant to this discussion:

"I think it's about handwriting input versus a keyboard, and handwriting recognition has been tried over and over again, and it turns out that Apple, after all that pain we went through with the Newton, has the best handwriting technology in the world now. It's way better than anything else. But the problem is that doesn't matter, it's still really slow to write stuff. You could never keep up with your email if you had to write it all out. And so, it turns out that people want keyboards. When I started in this business one of the biggest challenges was that people couldn't type, and one day we realised that death would eventually take care of this! And so, people know how to type now and if you do email of any sort of volume you have to have a keyboard. So we look at the tablet and we think it's going to fail."

I put the last bit in just for fun :p He was actually referring to Microsofts handwritten input tablet, which Bill Gates had demonstrated the previous night at D1, and Walt Mossberg was discussing with Jobs.
Jokke_r 13th June 2010, 13:14 Quote
I don't think nothing will ever beat a keyboard for text input. Seeing as voice recognition requires you to access a different part of your brain when outputting content, at least for me the text and thought flows better while using a keyboard, also works as a great filter as all your thoughts don't get through. Just imagine how many "umm", "errr" etc. you hear everyday in peoples speech.
javaman 13th June 2010, 14:42 Quote
While keyboards may be on the way out I highly doubt that touch devices/software keyboards will replace them. The hardware keyboard is very efficient yet these touch keyboard are a sidewards move at best. they also take up part of the screen when you want to type. While i disagree that touch keyboards on screen will be a successor, a true successor, I feel, will come in the form of the wii remote. Not a wii remote in its current carnation, but a device that uses sensors, IR or not, to detect movement. Sorta minority report style. It will take a large leap in the 3D market but it is an area that alot of focus is being put into. Another area that could still improve if software develops is voice commands. The biggest problem here as you know I accounting for so many local variations of the same language as well as accents. 10 years time who knows?
rollo 13th June 2010, 15:36 Quote
could keyboards be uncommon in 10 years id think so

wires will be a thing of a past within the next 2-3 years most people already own totally wireless setups for mouse and keyboard as it is.

gamers may argue that wireless is slower but i own 2 mice 1 wired 1 not and the diffrence is un noticeable.

id expect some sort of device to replicate the mouse and keyboard in 10 years. Sort of like whats already happening in high end businesses with alot of touch keyboards on display

we already own 2 of these sorta keyboards as testers. theres no real buttons to press the keyboard is basically on to the glass pannel. Our typists speed is nigh on the same as it is on a normal one.
InSanCen 13th June 2010, 20:51 Quote
You can pry my Buckling Springs out of my cold dead hands. Ranging from '89 to '96, they are old, wired, and staying with me forever. The problem with Glass "touch" based keyboards is bottoming out. This is going to put more impact on your fingers, increase stress on the joints and fatigue. I can see them being very popular though, fashionable even. Kinda like Mac's... ;-)
Fizzban 13th June 2010, 21:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
could keyboards be uncommon in 10 years id think so

wires will be a thing of a past within the next 2-3 years most people already own totally wireless setups for mouse and keyboard as it is.

gamers may argue that wireless is slower but i own 2 mice 1 wired 1 not and the diffrence is un noticeable.

id expect some sort of device to replicate the mouse and keyboard in 10 years. Sort of like whats already happening in high end businesses with alot of touch keyboards on display

we already own 2 of these sorta keyboards as testers. theres no real buttons to press the keyboard is basically on to the glass pannel. Our typists speed is nigh on the same as it is on a normal one.


Apparently decent wireless mouses/keyboards are just as good as wired. But for me I don't see the point. I sit at my PC, the wires don't impinge on my gaming or general usage. Also I don't have to recharge them...ever. So I will still be using wired ones in 2-3 years thanks.

If I was going to have type on a hard surface with no give, then I'd rather that holographic keyboard tech was improved.
Emon 13th June 2010, 21:28 Quote
Part of the problem is that most of these UI researchers are IDIOTS that are MISSING THE POINT. They come up with contrived applications and from there suppose that all input can be replaced by it if we somehow just "try harder" and "push the technology." This is why real UI research is done by people with a cognitive psychology background and not just idiots that manage to get stage time or a TED talk.
leslie 13th June 2010, 21:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emon
They come up with contrived applications and from there suppose that all input can be replaced by it if we somehow just "try harder" and "push the technology."

PRECISELY!
You never see them just typing.

In the video you see him asked, "what is the killer application for this technology", the killer application is normal data input, A.K.A. typing and it's not going to ring in your new idea, it's there to kill it.

Almost all of these ideas only tackle the mouse.
tad2008 13th June 2010, 22:36 Quote
As a UI the ideas and technology is viable and indeed possible, but it is subject to demand and if consumers aren't demanding a new UI and are happy and content with current interfaces then things will be slow to change.

The keyboard, whether in the form it has been in since it's conception, touch screen, table top laser or any other variation will be around for as long as we have the need to enter raw data, program devices, communicate via email / sms.

I think this is a common thought that has been touched upon by many of the previous comments and has remained unchanged for the last 25 years and is unlikely to change in the next 25 years either.
Yoy0YO 14th June 2010, 04:39 Quote
Sorry, I didn't read through your discussions but I suddenly thought of the Theremin.
Analogue output without physical contact.

I thought I'd just add that in there. Thanks :D
Unicorn 14th June 2010, 05:20 Quote
I've owned and typed with a "holographic" (as someone just called it) keyboard for years now, and I can tell you that it is a technology that needs to be either improved or canned. I've gotten fairly efficient at using it for inputting to either my PDA or my laptop, but I don't use it as often as I used to because of RSI. I'm not saying that my use of that particular input method caused my RSI injuries - in fact I had them long before I ever used a laser keyboard - but it probably contributed a bit. As someone quite rightly mentioned, using touch sensitive keyboards with no tactile mechanism introduces the problem of high impact on the fingers and wrist which increases the strain put on these areas as you type, thereby increasing the risk and chances of developing RSI.
DbD 14th June 2010, 10:51 Quote
tbh I looked at the video and thought I could have done all he did with a little screen, a mouse and a keyboard.

The solution he had involved a huge projection system and lots of waving arms around.

The current system is just much more efficient.
uz1_l0v3r 14th June 2010, 12:18 Quote
I think there's as much chance as bog roll becoming obsolete. Next silly question.
Da_Rude_Baboon 14th June 2010, 12:30 Quote
A little mentioned fact is they had to take a lot of breaks in shooting Minority Report as it was so physically demanding to (pretend to) use the interface. Tom Cruise is probably a lot physically fitter than most of us who sit in front of a computer all day so it does not bode well for the rest of us.
capnPedro 14th June 2010, 13:47 Quote
Getting tired from holding your arms up to use a touchscreen is, in the industry, called "gorilla arm".

I can imagine how much worse it must have been for Mr Cruise doing those huge sweeping/rotating motions.
Azayles 14th June 2010, 15:42 Quote
The keyboard will be around for a looong long time, nothing can beat it for fool proof simplicity and speed of data entry.
Onscreen keyboards and laser scanning vitual keyboards are ok, but feel massively uncomfortable after extended use, and speech recognition isn't even close to being a practical replacement.
Viva la QWERTY!
Xir 14th June 2010, 15:59 Quote
Quote:
My iPhone 3G is two years old; it has a 412MHz CPU, and when I replace it, the device will likely by clocked at 1GHz - Motorola is even rumoured to have a 2GHz phone due by the end of the year.
About ten years ago, we had the same discussion (with the same clock speeds) ;) about Voice recognition.
If only hardware would become fast enough, we'd have it...we hardware is fast enough, voice recognition is still flaky at best.
Quote:
Getting tired from holding your arms up to use a touchscreen is, in the industry, called "gorilla arm".
Hehe, I can imagine, just copy-and-pasting and typing filenames on a touchscreen at eyelevel when standing hurts after 10 minutes
Altron 14th June 2010, 16:21 Quote
I disagree with those people who say that the keyboard will be around "forever", because obviously there will be a replacement. The question is if it will be in the near future, which I don't think it will.

I liked the "stone arrowhead" analogy. It's true that we don't use those anymore. However, the underlying concept of a stone arrowhead has not changed, simply the implementation of it. The idea is that in combat, using some sort of high-speed projectile can harm your enemies. Whether that projectile is a prehistoric stone arrowhead, or a medieval iron arrowhead, or a lead ball, or a rifled slug, or a high-tech armor piercing bullet, the concept of taking a small hard object and launching it at your enemy hasn't changed.

This technology is nice, but the ergonomics are not there. Insert all of the cliche fat american jokes you want, but for an office worker or a gamer who is operaitng the machine several hours each day, the ideal input solution is one which allows you to operate the machine with a minimal amount of movement, to avoid fatigue.

Remember the Wii, with its fancy motion remote control? They put Gamecube controller ports on the top, and most hardcore gamers I've seen play it have used the Gamecube controller. The wiimote was fun for casual gamers, but the real gamers preferred an old style controller.

I won't go so far as to say that touch and motion sensitive technology won't take off, but it won't kill the keyboard. It will just augment it. The same way the creation of the mouse couldn't replace the keyboard, but was able to add a lot of functionality to the PC.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the design of the keyboard change, but the underlying concept of an array of buttons to enter specific characters is here to say. It's fast, and it's accurate. I have seen some super-ergonomic keyboards (not the stupid MS split keyboard) that are two bowl-shaped objects with keys on the inside. Something like that might take off. Some improved technology might take off. But it's just plain silly to say that you won't have some sort of physical keyboard device in ten years. The keyboard has been around for over a century, and I would have a hard time believing that it won't be around for another one, even if it declines to a legacy peripheral that is only used by people wanting to do certain tasks on their computers that would be difficult with voice/touch recognition.
TSR2 14th June 2010, 17:37 Quote
I predict the death of the futurologist in 10 years, hehe.
Although the physical keyboard as we know it will likely be less ubiquitous
bobwya 14th June 2010, 18:27 Quote
I fell asleep during this video. Isn't it funny how HCI people like to move so many pictures around. I don't. What about other forms of data?!
HIC work is so like Computer AI... Just another 10 years and we'll have cracked it... Love the touchscreen on my iPod Touch - not so good on a bigger machine (e.g. iPad).
thehippoz 14th June 2010, 18:34 Quote
it'll probably have uses, like during presentations and such.. it's already done with prometheus boards but.. for the guys who want to look like they know what they're doing.. he can stand up there waving his hands around

then go backstage and do somersaults
kornedbeefy 15th June 2010, 14:05 Quote
I still have hundreds of PC games to finish so no not for me.
Sifter3000 15th June 2010, 14:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altron
I liked the "stone arrowhead" analogy. It's true that we don't use those anymore. However, the underlying concept of a stone arrowhead has not changed, simply the implementation of it. The idea is that in combat, using some sort of high-speed projectile can harm your enemies... the concept of taking a small hard object and launching it at your enemy hasn't changed.

Excellent analogy, and some great points.
Chocobollz 15th June 2010, 19:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnPedro
The keyboard will die as soon as we get a reliable, useful computer-to-brain link cable and not a moment sooner.

I agree but hey, I still want to touch my real d*ck when I fap! :P
Azayles 15th June 2010, 19:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocobollz
I agree but hey, I still want to touch my real d*ck when I fap! :P
At least this way you'll have BOTH hands free :D
Xir 16th June 2010, 16:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altron
I disagree with those people who say that the keyboard will be around "forever", because obviously there will be a replacement. <snip> The keyboard has been around for over a century, and I would have a hard time believing that it won't be around for another one...
A bit contradictory, no?
Altron 17th June 2010, 03:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
A bit contradictory, no?

Not really. 100 years != forever. One of those is a quantified estimate of time, the other is just rampant speculation.

The keyboard has been around since the Civil War (1860s). It's been around for 150 years, and it is more popular than it has ever been. I don't lend much credibility to the notion that it will be dead in 10 years. Something that well established will stick around, slowly using popularity, or it will be killed instantly by something that is undeniably better. And the technology being showcased here isn't undeniably better. Something that might kill the keyboard would be thought-to-text. That's in the pipeline, and there have been some very promising trials, but it is IMO a lot more than 10 years away from being on every PC.
Simnol 18th June 2010, 23:14 Quote
Keyboards just feel nice, good resting places for your hands and the clacky noise of old keyboards still gets to me some days :)
Elton 19th June 2010, 05:20 Quote
The simple answer still is: no.

There isn't a viable replacement for the keyboard yet.
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