Futurists, computer scientists, and trendsetting analysts all agree – the personal computer, particularly in its current configuration, probably won’t be with us too much longer. And we understand the reasoning. The PC is a space hog in a world where space is increasingly at a premium, it's an energy hog at a time when energy is both costly and precious, and it's no longer the driver of the technology industry it once was. That honor now goes to all those nifty little pads and pods and tabs we suddenly can't seem to live without. The long-in-the-tooth desktop, meanwhile, has already been relegated by some to dinosaur status.
Yet as much as it's been beaten down, as much as its fate seems sealed by a world that now craves mobility and a technological revolution that's now revolving in other directions, the PC isn't going anywhere anytime soon. It remains the workhorse of the workforce, the finest tool in the arsenal for visual arts, and the panacea for non-console gamers everywhere.
Having said that, the PC is clearly entering a state of flux. And as it does, we thought we'd take a look at what might (and in some cases, will) happen to those devices that surround the granddaddy of high tech. For as much as the familiar PC "box" will shape-shift over the coming years and decades, so too will the peripherals that allow us to interact with it.
Here then is a rundown of fifteen peripheral devices and concepts we feel are notable for their evolutionary stance, even if they may be flawed in current form. We've loosely arranged them in order of when they have – or when they might – be available in the consumer marketplace.