Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Right Place, the Right Tool

Due to the success of iPhone, people are wildly excited for touch interface. And some guys talk about the death of mice. It's a bit exciting for me since I've been in this field for several years. But I'd like to point out that talking about the death of mice is confusing. Rather, I think it is time that each machine has its right tools to interact with men. I list my opinion on appropriate input devices for different computing devices:

  • Desktop PCs: Keyboards and mice are enough.
  • Tableotop or surface computing: Human hands (touch), pens, and pucks.
  • Mobile phones: For normal phones, keypads are sufficient. Touch and pens are good alternatives for feature-rich phones with larger display (> 2.8"). Multi-touch is feasible for displays larger than 3.5" (Think iPhone).
  • Tablet PCs: They are for multi-touch and accurate pen input devices.
  • Humanoids: Voice and image recognition are essential. I don't think that such "natural interface" is not natural in desktop computing. As you don't talk to your notes or typewriters, your PC doesn't need to listen to you.
  • Other types of robots: Keyboards, mice, and joysticks.
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