The humble computer mouse has been with us now for at least three decades, but the time of the mouse is coming to an end. A large number of technologies are emerging which have led to the mouse being less and less necessary for people to interact with computers. One, or a combination of these technologies in the list below will eventually kill the mouse for good.
The first technology designed to replace the mouse, trackpads, were initially build for laptop computers to negate the need to carry a mouse with you at all times. While they started quite rudimentary, new touchpads are ever-more capable, allowing for complicated gestures and controls.
2. Voice Controls
Driven by the explosion in big data and machine learning, voice recognition technology has markedly improved in recent years. Now this kind of interaction is ushering in a new era of computing, especially on mobile devices such as smartphones and smart watches.
3. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) interfaces are massively increasing in popularity at the moment. Using these devices, a user can fully immerse themselves in a digital world, with often amazing results.
4. Motion Detection
Motion detection systems which use an IR camera or other tracking device to map the movement of the body are slowly beginning to appear as an alternative method of computing control. Systems such as Kinect and Touch Sense are already on the market and stimulating developers to integrate these innovative controls into their products.
While the other technologies on this list are interesting, the one which is most likely to displace the mouse in the short to medium term, is the touchscreen. Already this kind of interface reigns supreme on phones and tablets, and it is only a matter of time before it takes over desktops as well.
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