Touchscreens and Beyond

Technology is always moving, but one thing that has stayed the same for a while is the touchscreen on your mobile device. Although the touchscreens of today are efficient, they too will evolve. Here are some thoughts on where they may be headed:

3-D Buttons: Tactus Technology has developed a touchscreen that has on-demand raised buttons. Its microfluidic technology changes the user’s experience from that of touching a flat surface to one of a typing on a keyboard.

Gesture: Imagine that turning a page while reading on a tablet was as easy as waving your hand over the device. This technology is being tested and perfected with the Gesture Cube. Apple recently won a patent for something similar to the Gesture Cube. Apple’s patent specifically addresses the “pinch-and-pull gesture,” which allows the user to touch the screen to “pinch” and “pull” away from the screen to register a gesture, as well as 3-D gesturing inputs.

Voice Recognition: Siri was a big step in our introdution to voice or speech interfaces, but if Siri were human, she would be like a two-year-old, not comprehending larger words, requiring us to speak slowly and very clearly, and only only understanding basic commands. This technology will evolve quickly as the big tech companies compete to make devices easier to use.

Thought: IBM predicts that by 2017, most devices will be controlled by brainwaves. Emotive currently has a headset that reads EEGs (electroencephalograms) and facial expressions to control games, but everyday use can’t be too far away.

Author: Susan Hallinan

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