If Gates is right, how much longer for keyboards & mice?

It wasn't exactly Minority Report but Bill Gates' technology demonstration at the company's CEO Summit earlier Wednesday may be remembered years from now as a harbinger of the end for the keyboard and mouse era. Not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But soon enough. (Cue Winston Churchill here about how this is not the end, the beginning of the end, but perhaps, it's the end of the beginning.)

As Gates demoed a 4-foot-by-6-foot prototype called TouchWall, there was little resemblance to Tom Cruise's futuristic data juggling in that 2002 sci-fi performance as he moved 3D screens around with simple hand gestures. Making what is likely his last appearance as master of ceremonies at this annual conclave of corporate heavy hitters, Gates used the show-and-tell session to offer a prediction.

In the future, he said, all surfaces will feature "an inexpensive screen display capability and software that sees what you're doing there so that it's completely interactive."

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I'm still using an AT keyboard made in 1986, I don't see myself changing to something different anytime soon.

Future?. Lol. We are in the future. We currently live in the future that everyone in the past has talked about. Because there is nothing in the future-future but trouble. Yup, it's all downhill for humanity from this point. Watch.

Even if speech recognition became perfect tomorrow, keyboards and mice are still going to be around for a long, long time.
Put it this way, when was the last time you had a friend on a PC or whatever and you were able to tell them "oh, click on that link there" without having to resort to actually pointing at it?
That's just one example of how it's not going to replace a mouse. Keyboards are much the same, especially for anyone trying to code anything.

(Kushan said @ #14)
Even if speech recognition became perfect tomorrow, keyboards and mice are still going to be around for a long, long time.
Put it this way, when was the last time you had a friend on a PC or whatever and you were able to tell them "oh, click on that link there" without having to resort to actually pointing at it?
That's just one example of how it's not going to replace a mouse. Keyboards are much the same, especially for anyone trying to code anything.


human: "Please shutdown" Windows:" I'm having hard time understanding. please repeat that." human:" shut.. down.."
Windows:" repeat it again" human:"you fcking piece of **** would just power off" Windows:"I'm sorry I unable to execute the command. I will send error report to Microsoft"
Human:"oh great. now calling big brother"

sorry I had to say the lame joke..

at the hospital where i work we use alot of touch screens already. Our entire inventory control from meds to supplies and surgical instruments is all run from touch screens with a keyboard i might add. there will be a great many deal of uses for touch screens where long term computer usage is not an issue.

There is a problem with efficiency that no one often discusses with this type of tech. If it takes twice as long to get at the information you want, then it is worthless... and if it provides more information than can be processed, then it is worthless. The key is to find the balance in information and ergonomics.

Why I get the feeling apple is going to be first one going to release this kind of technology ? a computer just like iphone no mouse and keyboard. I'm not sucking off Apple I am not fan of there hardware/software.

let see who get it out first.

keyboard and mouse are here for a long time, they can say what they want, and show whatever they want, but if you're doing a lot of typing there's nothing beter than good-old keyboard, and no touch technology cal replace that

(creamhackered said @ #6.1)
You should try the iPhone then ;)

I have, and hated it.
Prefer my SE phone for games, normal keys feel better I find.
I guess it depends on the game.

Also, hardcore gamers tend to be keyboard/mouse users compared to console handsets.
Unless it's a driving game (i.e, steering wheel), I don't see those sort of users wanting to reach out to the screen ever.

Even if the keyboard moves to a virtual one displayed on a touch screen and the mouse moves to hand gestures, it's still a keyboard and mouse.

A "keyboard" does not need to exist however (even an on screen one is maybe not neccessary)... wasn't their a test where they controlled movement of a cursor on a screen with a mouse, purely by using the mind of the user? Why cant you log in and think what you want to do on a computer? sure its a long way off but it appears to be possible.

Yeah, maybe touchscreens on portable devices/laptops, but I don't see the keyboard & mouse being replaced for a VERY long time, if ever.
I've used keyboards for 30 years, I doubt in my lifetime I'd switch to anything else.
I also can't imagine playing a game using touchscreen compared to mouse movements for a solution to move around.

Besides, until touch screen includes tactile feedback, I'd not consider it.

how ironic, I clicked quote instead of edit and left this here. Hmmm, I bet touch screen errors would be more common!

Tactile feedback is already appearing... The newest line of Samsung Touch Screen phones vibrate in (I think 20) different ways depending what you press. Its very nice having that feedback, something which I don't think anyone else currently does in the touch screen market.

How much longer for keyboards and mice? Years, and years, and years... As speech-recognition technology should have taught us, old habits are extremely hard to break.

(SniperX said @ #1)
How much longer for keyboards and mice? Years, and years, and years... As speech-recognition technology should have taught us, old habits are extremely hard to break.
That's exactly what I thought. Following Gates, we would have switched to speech recognition 15 years ago.

No, keyboards and mouses will be around for a VERY long time.

People still don't even use the speech recognition for the voice dialing on their cell phones.

(Beaux said @ #1.1)
That's exactly what I thought. Following Gates, we would have switched to speech recognition 15 years ago.

No, keyboards and mouses will be around for a VERY long time.

People still don't even use the speech recognition for the voice dialing on their cell phones.

I can not agree with that.
Speech recognition has never really gotten through because of the privacy. If you're on the street or in public places I wouldn't want people to know who I'm calling (not that I have dark contacts...). It's the same with PC's, there's no privacy anymore when you use speech recognition.

With this rechnology it's different, people keep their privacy and can work with computers in a "modern" way. I'm sure if it hits the market it will become very popular...

(Pierreken said @ #1.2)
With this rechnology it's different, people keep their privacy and can work with computers in a "modern" way. I'm sure if it hits the market it will become very popular...
This technology will have other issues. The main one that I see is discomfort. As it is, I can rest my arm on the desk and just move my wrist to operate the mouse. It's about as comfortable as it could be.

With touch-screen, I'd need to have my arm at least partially lifted to the screen for much of the time. Imagine how uncomfortable that is going to become on your deltoids and other muscles after a few minutes of use, let alone after hours of use. It might work for hand-held devices but that is not what is being considered here.

As sexy as any technology is, it also has to be practical, and this too is why speech-recognition has not received mass-appeal. It's impractical, as you point out, to share numbers with anyone in the street, or have an office full of people babbling commands to their computers.