The death of the keyboard
The death of the keyboard has been predicted many times. I continually hear about how the keyboard is dead… each new advance in technology is heralded as the death of the keyboard.
But tell me how many people sit down to write a document or article at their touch phones or iPads? For instance, I’m not writing this article on my phone or tablet, yes that’s right, shock horror, I’m using a keyboard! (The irony of people predicting the death of a keyboard is that they normally write their predictions from the comfort of a keyboard.)
Don’t get me wrong, the touch screen is the biggest change to human / machine interactions since the mouse and windows in the 1970s / 1980s, and having a physical keyboard on a phone now seems odd. There are also a lot of new interaction methods that are absolutely awesome. Swype is absolutely amazing and one of the features of my Android phone that I like most… but I couldn’t imagine trying to write an article using Swype.
It depends on the context and content of what you are trying to do… and I think the keyboard will have a place in our technology footprint for many years to come. Maybe not forever but definitely still for quite some time.
Futurists continually over-hype how new technologies will change our lives. Some do but a lot don’t.
A few examples
- Writing a tweet on your touch phone = yes
- Bashing out a quick email on your touch tablet = yes
- Writing a quick note or task on your phone = yes
- Speaking a task to your phone during a meeting = no
- Walking down the street with Google Glass = odd
- Using Google Glass in a supply chain / warehouse = yes
- Writing an article on a touch screen = no
- Using a Segway for a tourist attraction = yes
- Writing a document on your keyboard = yes