Wired Magazine (January 25, 2010 )
"Is it possible for a computer mouse to be cool? Ever since Douglas Engelbart invented the pointing device in 1963 as part of his shockingly perspicacious Human Augmentation Project, mouses have all been pretty much the same. Slide one to move the pointer on the screen. Click the buttons to select things.
"But these days, as more and more of us are using laptops rather than desktops, the mouse has become an endangered species. Trackpads, after all, can do everything a mouse can — and more. With a Mac trackpad, you can now employ a wide range of finger motions to scroll through documents, tab between open applications, and zoom in and out of photos. And a new wave of touchscreen computers lets you manipulate things directly, like you're already doing with your smartphone. So, why even bother with a mouse?..."
This article is, after that introduction, mostly a product review of Apple's new Magic Mouse. Which is sleek, technologically sophisticated, wireless, and expensive.
I won't be getting one soon. But my guess is that the next mouse I do get will incorporate technologies and features emulated / copied / whatever from the Magic Mouse.
Now I know what I was remembering: "Mighty Mouse." "Here I come to save the day!" and all that.
Where was I?
Glowing product review.
Here's a sample from the rest of the article:
"...It's carefully designed, with a sumptuously cantilevered icy-white carapace over a brushed aluminum hull. And, like other recent Apple designs, the contour is unbroken by any raised button — the device itself is the button.
"The real advance, however, is that the Magic Mouse is touch sensitive, so it supports the same sorts of gestures that a trackpad or iPhone...."
Sounds like the Magic Mouse is pretty hot stuff. And probably an indicator of what will be standard mouse tech pretty soon.
As for 'extinction of the desktop mouse' - I don't see that happening any time soon, any more than the mouse made keyboards obsolete. Touchscreen technology is nice, but I see some ergonomic issues - a comfortable position for touching isn't necessarily the best position for seeing and vice versa.
A technology that doesn't seem to be quite here yet is the sort that 'sees' hand position and movement. In principle, you could "type on air" and get the same results as you would with a keyboard.
Just one problem with that: keyboards, touchpads, trackpads and mice all give our fingers tactile feedback. Gesture-sensing systems wouldn't.
Until they're wired into our nervous system, so that we'd 'feel' things that aren't really there.
- "The Future: Just Like Today, Only Different"
(Apathetic Lemming of the North link list, last updated January 27, 2010)
- "Next-Generation Prosthetic Hand - and Intel Says Direct Neural Interface Brain Chips by 2020"
(December 2, 2009)
- "Glow-in-the-Dark Flashing Tattoos? Prosthetics With Neural Interfaces? They're Coming"
(November 20, 2009)
- "Good News, Neural Devices Connect Brain, Computers: Bad News, Same Thing"
(July 11, 2009)
- "Magic Walls and the Information Age"
(May 19, 2008)
- "Next-Generation Tabletop"
(April 28, 2008)