But over the past five years, usurpers have arrived, first in the form of touch screens, then in the form of gestural interaction systems like Leap Motion. Yesterday, HP introduced us to Sprout, a computer that consists of a touchscreen monitor, a RealSense 3D camera, a projector, and a flat touchscreen mat to create the ultimate Frankenstein of interaction methods. It also, like so many of its peers, kills the keyboard and mouse for good. Kind of.
Leave Our Mice Alone Sprout is an interesting and odd $1,899 system, and it's being pitched as the ultimate no-keyboard, no-mouse tool for creativity: The overhead camera can take images of objects you put on the mat, for example, and the 20-point touch mat lets you manipulate those objects between the mat and screen.
There's no denying touch is wonderful for specific uses, like moveable screens that are always close to our bodies. And gestural interaction is equally awesome, especially for organic actions like panning through a virtual reality or exploring a 3D model, or even a surgeon who can't touch an actual screen. The use cases are endless.
Thanks, Hollywood So where does all this mouse- and keyboard-hate come from? It may have something to do with the way we imagine the future—and the way it's portrayed in movies and TV, too.
"The fact that the mouse and touch input have so different strengths is one of the main reasons to design different user interfaces for desktop websites and for mobile sites," Nielsen adds.
What We Think Is Better Isn't Always Better It turns out that humans aren't very good at predicting which actions will be fastest—we suck at telling the difference between an interface that looks faster and one that actually is faster.
In 1989, human/computer interaction expert Bruce Tognazzini reported that users have a hard time discerning between what form of interaction is really the quickest. Even though users thought typing in keyboard commands were faster than using the mouse, the opposite actually proves to be true—because thinking about a keyboard command requires what he calls "high level cognitive functioning," whereas mice do not. "Users achieve a significant productivity increase with the mouse in spite of their subjective experience," Tognazzini reported.
So what we think will be a faster, more modern method of interaction doesn't always compare with what really is faster. To a certain extent, that explains why we're so eager to jump fully into the touch and gesture era, even though our fingers are less precise than mice. In the end, it makes more sense to imagine a future where multiple interaction routes co-exist—not one in which a single input completely replaces all others. Existing computers with Leap Motion built right in probably make more sense than a totally touchscreen or gestural PC like Sprout.
Yet we just can't let go of that one version of the future, in which we all have Tony Stark's rakish confidence and spent the day conducting a digital symphony with our hands. It just looks like too much fun.
source: gizmodo.com Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan