what this is. Troll, flamebait, or ignorance of the facts.
It is wishful thinking.
First: I doubt that the mouse will die, ever. Unless touchscreens become cheap and self-cleaning, they will never be used heavily. Do
you know what happens when a greasy, oily finger touches practically every part of the screen for a day? It gets disgusting and
hard to read.
Hey, did I advocate touch-screens? No, I advocated voice-recognition. I did however say, that for some applications, like CAD and anything involving drawing, that touch screens would be a good interface. Lying flat on your desk, not like a giant CRT. But now that you mention it, yes I certainly think touch-screens will become cheap with time. And it's not unlikely that they will come up with some surface that doesn't get so oily. I am not exactly talking about what we have today, I am talking about future user interfaces.
Also, let's think about people who do a lot of data entry and other such things. t's much easier (in an setup where ergonomics is
taken into account) to place your hand on the mouse, and move stuff around on that way; there's less chance of repetitive stress
injuries. You must also remember that noe everyone sits within arm's length of their monitor. I, for one, don't. For me, every time I
wanted to open a program or click a [Submit] button, I'd have to lean forward. By the end of the day, my shoulder and neck would
probably be pulsing epicentres of pain.
Why would you have people doing manual data-entry? It seems very counter-productive to me. Why would you move stuff around manually? What stuff are you talking about? And why is it so difficult to imagine an ergonomic setup for you that uses something else than cathode ray tubes and a mechanical mouse?
A note about speech recognition: It's useless for anyone who does a lot of document work. Take a secretary: I know some who can
type at 200 WPM. There isn't anyone who can talk that fast and still be coherent to a human, much less a computer.
There isn't anyone who can think that fast either. So unless you are just mindlessly copying text (which a computer should be able to do for you, anyway) this is probably not a reality. But you are free to use a keyboard if you really wish. As I said, I think keyboards are practical for some tasks.
You also mention focus changing by what we're currently looking at. Apart from being expensive and incredibly impractical, this
would probably scare most people. Do you like it when a computer does something for you without telling you? I can garner that
most of the k5 readership doesn't. I know that my eyes skip all over the screen, all the time. I have a WinAMP window under this
one, and I dart back and forth between the two. Now, if the focus was changed every time I moved my eyes, I'd lose my IE window,
because that would disappear under WinAMP. I can't call that conveinient. Also, how many users would be freaked out at the
computer second-guessing them? I think that most older people, who are mostly used to the world in front of them, would be
driven insane. Example: Clippit. I write "Dear Mom" in Word and that asshole says, "It looks like your writing a letter!" and asks me if
I want help (this was before I turned it off). Clippit is never helpful. He tries to make your productivity by doing things to your
document based on what other people have done. I can't tell you how bad that is.
Well, if you don't like focus changing without you telling the computer, how about you give the computer a command to change focus to what you look at when you want it to, then? Anyway, when I am typing, I usually look at the text I am typing, so for me, it would make sense. But, you should be able to do what you want without interruption from the computer, so you should be allowed to configure it any way you want.
Anyway, a winamp-window is exactly what I consider stupid, why do you need a window there just because you are playing music? Anyway, the computer should be intelligent enough to understand you are not typing some letter into winamp! I don't know who Clippit is, but I guess you are referring to that annoying MS-Office-thingy? I don't know what your point is? Yes it's annoying! So what, did I advocate it anywhere?
You go on to contradict yourself, here:
I hope any user-interface input elements visible on the computer screen (icons, menus, buttons, scrollbars, etc...)
will go away. The screen is an output device, and it's not a good idea to use it for input.
You said you wanted to use the screen for input, but now you say you don't. What do you want? Why do you hope scrollbars, icons,
and menus will go away?
No, I am not contradicting myself. I said I wanted to use voice as the primary input device, but that keyboards and touch-screens would also be practical in some situations. I mentioned CAD and drawing as examples of something that would be useful for touch-screens. And I was thinking of a touch-screens more in style of a tablet, and not exactly what you can buy in the shop today. And it should probably not be the only screen attached to the computer.
Scrollbars/menus/buttons/icons/etc are counter-productive. They take up screen space that could be used for stuff I really want to see. They are also not an efficient means of input. The mouse-wheel is an excellent replacement for scroll-bars. As for all the others, they are better replaced by voice input.
Hate to break it to you, but this won't happen until computers are mind-readers that possess a greater intelligence and wisdom
than our own. And when that happens, do you think they'll be formatting documents for us? I don't.
Well, the idling/concentrating part, I am pretty sure can be solved without any intelligence. Perhaps it is even possible now. I am sure it would be possible to scan radiation from the brain or something like that. There should probably be a difference in some patterns between a person concentrating deeply, and someone just being bored.
The part of intelligence is unrealistic, I admit. And that was why I wrote it too, as a bit of self-irony.
True, these are your thoughts, but they're all extremely impractical. In my opinion, they would decrease productivity and user
happiness. Overall, it sounds like you want the computer to 'just know'. Don't hold your breath.
No, I think many of these ideas will become practical during the next 10-20 years. And that they will increase productivity dramatically. Just because you are not willing to look beyond present hardware capabilities doesn't make the ideas impractical. Anyway, this inability to look past present hardware suprises me very much, because I take it for granted that this will improve very soon. What concerns me much more is whether practical speach recognition will ever be a reality. It seems to me to be a much harder problem, and perhaps the only real hinderance to what I envision. By the way, I am not holding my breath!
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