Multitouch is so 2011. The future of computer interaction is gestures. Instead of swiping a finger, say analysts, we’ll be waving our hand. And in one of those ‘back to the future moments,’ Microsoft, which Apple passed in a blur, could be leading the ‘gestures’ movement thanks to its gaming interface Kinect.
“Microsoft Kinect has legs much beyond gaming and perhaps it’s the future for interacting in bigger spaces,” IDC analyst Al Hilwa said. Windows 8 could support gestures, especially if the new OS is part of a home entertainment system, connecting to your television as a set top box, he added.
Although there is opportunity for Microsoft to jump ahead of touchscreens, 3D and other interface possibilities, the Windows maker “has an execution problem,” Hilwa notes. Already, Microsoft is being kept busy trying to figure out how to successfully enter the tablet market.
For gaming, gestures appears to have skipped over touchscreens and 3D, according to Gartner analyst Brian Blau. Blau warns of potential hiccups with any new interface, using the Palm Pilot as an example. The idea of a PDA was groundbreaking, but users were forced to learn Graffiti to enter text. Such possible scenarios make the Gartner analyst forecast keyboards will be around for at least 100 more years.
However, the traditional keyboard will be transformed, adding not only gestures, but also touch and speech. In Germany, the Human Computer Interaction Lab envisions a touchscreen keyboard that provides a tactile response for users. The timeline on that? About five years.
Is there a forthcoming iPad that uses Kinect-like gestures to supplement its multitouch abilities? Seems pretty crazy to us, but if anyone can make it work, it’s Apple. Most of this analyst’s comments, though, come across as just weird running at the mouth. “THE KEYBOARD WILL LAST 100 YEARS.” Well, okay… let’s ask what Siri has to say about that.