‘Death of the Mouse’ Will Signal Next Phase of the Great Digital Experience

If you still use a mouse, it’s probably because you own a desktop computer that hasn’t found its way into your pocket quite yet. And if you use a mouse on any other device, you’re becoming part of an increasingly rare breed of consumers. In fact, it’s the death of using the mouse that is aligning with other Great Digital Experiences, most of which are “hands or device-free.” In this blog post we will discuss how digital refineries such as the extinction of the mouse are leading the way in the domino effect of digital and mobile domination, serving as a movement of digital disruption for what soon will be titled, “I have to plug it in?”

Look Ma, No Hands!

Some of first video games that were played involved a bunch of kids sitting on the floor, using joysticks and controllers plugged into a system that was as big as a series of encyclopedias stacked together. As time went on, the systems became smaller, the TVs got bigger and the action felt more surreal -- the sense of being part of the game, or even in the virtual world, became much more intense.

Gaming system’s such as Nintendo’s Wii allowed gamers to box or hit a golf ball while holding a controller, using their body movements that translated into their character’s actions on the screen. This introduced a freedom to be integrated into the virtual experience without being tethered to a wired-in device. It welcomed a new relationship of this new lifestyle, which opened the doors for more digital innovations.

Now, companies like Microsoft and Sony are creating a “wires-free” - and sometimes
“hands-free” digital experience through their video game platforms where it takes a few hand movements to get the user from toggling through basic setup screens to the actual gameplay mode. Companies that include Sony, LG, and Panasonic have rolled out a line of Smart TVs as well for 2013 with voice action “hands-free” controls and facial recognition features that enable personalization, making the phrase “couch potato” much more achievable, essentially converting you to a character in the virtual world.

Hey, I’m over here

How many times have you been watching a video or streaming a movie on your phone when someone or something distracts you, allowing the best scene to fly by? Well, Samsung has an answer for that. Welcome the Samsung Galaxy S4, which stops playing any type of media related content when your attention isn’t fully focused on your device. Now the concept of this device is great, allowing the consumer to physically make sure they digest all of the content when their attention is fully directed on the flick or clip. Where it could get tricky is the hassle of the constant starting and stopping if you have wandering eyes or a brief period of allergy-related sneeze attacks. Don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll figure that out, but this breakthrough is key because it eliminates one less swipe you have to make as the mobile device industry pushes for more of a “hands-free” vision for the future.

A Day Made of Glass

If you haven’t seen the video, check it out here. The video depicts a world in which everything we do involves a mere swipe, voice activation or “hands-free” experience. Some even “device-free” and “hassle-free” as you can move pictures on your refrigerator without magnetics, as they are controlled by your touch on the glass. Other examples that include having the shades in your bedroom open and close by time of day to asking your car to check your schedule for the workday ahead shows how Corning Glass is an integral component in this new “touch” and “swipe” era of the great digital experience.

To create this elegant, simple to use interface, flawless performance is required. Not surprisingly, Corning makes the Gorilla Glass that is used as the touch surface for Apple’s iPhones, which created the state of the art in this area, and helped greatly in signaling the end of the Mouse Era whether that be with or without a device in hand.

The Death of the Mouse is leading to the extinction of cords, the freeing of the hands for a richer engagement with the virtual reality, opening the door to the next great digital experience. Are you ready to give up your mouse?

Comments

Posted on by Bill Winett.

When I'm sitting at my desk, I'd rather use a mouse than hand gestures or swiping.

Posted on by Ricardo Beltran.

For me there are three different moods while using my computer. Those are information consumer, information producer and a combination of both. I only prefer keyboard and mouse less whenever I am as information consumer. Whenever I am an information producer (coding, writing, designing presentations) or doing both (research and making a presentation, looking at videos while answering my email) I do strongly prefer my mouse, keyboard and a decent PC with some monitors, I just can triple my output using a PC than using a tablet or my phone, though I use all of them really fast.
I think that the author must consider the use of a computer from a wider perspective and more use cases like entering the captcha that appears on this page in order to submitt my comment. :-)

Posted on by Morris Barrett.

Do you count a track ball, track pad, roller mouse, trackpoint, pen etc... as a mouse? I don't really, and though the most common replacement for a mouse is the track pad I still hate it almost as much as the mouse. Touch is certainly not the answer, it's as bad as the mouse for breaking flow if using the keyboard. And on screen keyboards are just awful for "flow".

Touch and gesture may be great for passive consumption, but for creation they just don't cut it most of the time.
I'm not opposed to new or different inputs, I try almost any I find, and use quite a number. No one else is the office can use my computer because when they sit down they can't find the mouse, and are scared of the keyboard.

But what I look for is uninterrupted flow which is still dependent on tactile manual manipulation due to how human brains are wired. Maybe the next generation will be wired differently but probably not, that different.

New composite input devices are finally successfully using secondary input data to derive intention, cameras and location
(phones, wii, kinect). But humans are still more adaptable than the computers (for the next 10 years maybe.) And thus definitive rather than probable interactions with computers are still needed.

And while were on the topic, when is the final death of qwerty?

Posted on by Mariano Barcia (not verified).

I agree with Ricardo and Bill. When it comes to screens larger than say, 10 inches, the touch screen forces you to not only move your wrist but also move your arm, to reach the corners of the screen. Your mouse in turn, can amplify by x5 (or more) the movements of your wrist. Move your mouse 1mm, and the screen pointer will go like 5mm. That feature is highly appreciated when you are using a larger screen for professional purposes.

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