July 21, 2008
Exit the Mouse?

Fresh from the "making sh*t up to keep the press release interesting" department comes the prediction that the computer mouse will go "extinct" in five years. Gartner has been saying goofy things about the IT industry for as long as I can remember, and this is no exception. My prediction? The mouse isn't going anywhere, but alternative input devices will most likely prevent it making inroads into any other computer-like system.

Posted by scott at July 21, 2008 11:40 AM

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Ihad some jackass arguing with me that the touchpad was going to replace the mouse and that keyboards were all going to be the iPhone-like things.

I tried to explain to him that unless it offers so significant time savings, businesses won't adopt it.

Posted by: ronaprhys on July 21, 2008 03:30 PM

I agree with Ron (only the second or third time this year...heh)...unless there is significant savings (as shown through scrupulous cost/benefit analysis) with the newer technology, there's not much chance it'll be adopted widely.

Posted by: Mark on July 21, 2008 07:43 PM

Especially given that your hand will be in the way of the screen while using it. On top of that, the mouse has multiple buttons that will allow a user to either highlight something, drop the cursor somewhere, or get a drop down menu. In order to do that, the touchscreen application will have to differentiate between resistance (which I believe is the finger touching) and capacitance (the fingernail touching) in order to get both clicks of the mouse - but your hand will still be obscuring the text.

I'm not here to stand in the way of technology, but I'm having real trouble seeing how this could offer any significant advantage over the mouse for traditional computer apps, gaming, or anything other than the simplest of tasks (register screens, airport check-in, ATMs, etc).

I've even had people try to show demos with the innovators and experts moving files around, opening apps, etc. The problem is this isn't the vast majority of the tasks that people are doing on the PC. It's like saying a 4x4 is faster than a Formula by having them both race in a mud bog.

Posted by: ron on July 22, 2008 08:02 AM

They'll get my mouse when they pry it from my cold dead hand.

Posted by: Lynn on July 22, 2008 08:43 AM

It's good to know that you've got a .50cal muzzle-loading mouse.

And honestly, I'm a bit jealous.

Posted by: ron on July 22, 2008 09:11 AM

"In five years, the penis will be obsolete." (the first line of John Varley's "Steel Beach".)

Posted by: DensityDuck on July 22, 2008 12:14 PM
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