Dead Mouse Walking? - HotHardware
Dead Mouse Walking?

Dead Mouse Walking?

The computer mouse must rank among the most useful things ever invented. Like all great inventions, it's pretty well impossible to even calculate the value that it's brought to society. But many more ways to point at something on a pixellated screen have been developed since the mouse was born back in the sixties. According to an analyst at Gartner, these new methods of pointing and clicking will make the mouse lose its dominance -- perhaps in as few as two to four years.

... next-generation operating systems will sport what I call multitouch, physics and gestures (MPG) user interfaces. They represent the next quantum leap in PC usability. And they have no use for a mouse.

The evolution of user interfaces, in fact, can be viewed as a process of getting the user "closer” to objects on-screen. In the beginning, we interfaced with computers on the other side of the glass, handing punch-cards to an operator for processing. Then we typed abstract commands, but directly on a keyboard. Then we used a mouse to simulate the grabbing and selecting, the dragging and dropping of on-screen objects. In the coming fourth phase, we'll reach out and touch documents, photos and folders directly using iPhone-like user interfaces.


The author outlines four alternatives to mouse pointers that are available or being developed right now. And he includes a link to a nifty demonstration in 1968 by Douglas Englebart of the little rodent that would change the world:


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It will be interesting in Games to get a digital responce from a hand gesture!

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Frankly, I see nothing in the article that points to the downfall of the mouse. Touchscreens are horrid, inaccurate, and dirty up the screen way too much. Gaming controllers that he points out have never been anything more than a novelty to PC gamers, mouse in keyboard always has, and still will for the foreseeable future, rule for gaming. And the brainwave detecting devices are years, if not more than a decade away from being truly viable alternative to the masses.

The mouse will live on, despite the delusions of marketing these experts attempt to infuse in consumers brains.

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^QFT      Well put... I agree.

You guys have seen this thingumabob right???

Read about it HERE

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I totally agree with volatile. This is just more mumbo-jumbo conjured up to sell "research". It's like these consulting groups think no one will pay for research that concludes the status quo will remain as it is for the foreseeable future.

The alternate solutions don't replace the mouse any more than the mouse replaces the keyboard. If I had to use a touchscreen all day at work, I'd shoot myself - and even if brainwave control was working tomorrow, office workers will demand mice before messing up their hair puttin some sensor on/off 10 times a day.

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Touchscreens have gotten much better and are going to increase in popularity, but the mouse won't lose many users in the next 2-4 years IMHO. It will take longer than that for a big impact.

BTW, the Dell Latitude XT has an awesome touchscreen. And I would love to check out HP's touchscreen PCs.

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If I actually thought that touchscreens were going to catch on for everyday use, I'd buy as much stock as possible in Windex right now.

It's just not a comfortable interface for anything you need to use for more than 5 minutes at a time.

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I can't imagine tapping the screen to get headshots in FPS games... Leave touchscreens for handhelds, museums, and media PCs. I'll stick with mousey.

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