Prentice believes that not a single technology but a collection of navigational technologies are gradually, over the course of 3 to 4 years, going to render the mouse obsolete. He believes that technologies like iPhone’s multi-touch screen and gesture-sensitive cameras are moving people from “the idea of the one- or two-button mouse.” Few reasons why the mouse might be soon reduced to a relic of yore:
The iPhone effect: The uncomplicated navigational interface of gadgets like the iPhone has spoilt us. All of a sudden the mouse seems to be a ponderous navigational device compared to highly responsive multi-touch screens. Microsoft has announced Windows 7, a Vista-based multi-touch compatible Microsoft OS. And after Windows 7 is released next year, the mouse’s demise might be hastened.
Gesture-sensitive cameras: Cameras that can not only fathom the slightest of movements but appropriately respond to them are going to hold sway in the future. In fact, Lenovo is already shipping PCs with facial recognition features. Also Toshiba’s new range of notebooks with the Cell-based SpursEngine chip is tailor-made for gesture-based navigation.
Cerebral Navigation: Even the most delicate of taps and gestures seem like a chore against the luxury of controlling a computer with one’s brain. A few brain control headsets for controlling games are in the works and might be soon available commercially. But if videogames can be controlled using brainwaves, so can be computers.
The mouse is certainly on its way out, however, it won’t all of a sudden vanish into thin air but slowly wither away. Having read this through, you are now free to recount all the wonderful moments that you have had with your soon-to-be-relic computer mouse.