Mouse and Keyboard, Not Enough?

Bill Buxton's poor user

Nowadays, everybody and his brother seem to talk about Augmented Reality, Multi-touch, Mobile Computing and 3D. These technologies are changing the way we interact with media and computers. And it is about time.

Traditionally, we all interact with computers using the mouse (a substitute for our hands) and the keyboard (instead of using our voice). We receive our feedback via a screen, displaying flat documents.

Do you know how famous designer and computer scientist Bill Buxton describes a user in this situation? Have a look to the left.

A poor creature without a body (not necessary for human-computer interaction), only one eye (enough for 2D screens) no ears nor mouth (voice and speech don't not matter, either). Finally, he needs only one hand with one finger for clicking and typing.

 Growth of capacities

But we got used to these handicaps, no wonder: The keyboard is around for 100 years, the mouse is 40 years old. Time enough to settle in the situation. Why change anything?

Here is an argument: According to Moore's Law, the capacity of computers doubles every two years. But our brain is the same since millennia. How do we keep pace with the technical progress of our most important tool? Shouldn't we try everything to dispose of the limits of traditional human-computer interaction and instead interact with all our senses?

And beyond these rational arguments: Leaving the beaten track is fun! Have a look at my collection of examples.