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krush kill 'n destroy
written by Geekofdeath on Sep 28, 2007 22:07
Keyboard/Mouse or Speech/Touchscreen?
21 members voted in this poll so far
Keyboard and Mouse
Speech Recognition and Touchscreen
We all know that Bil Gates over there at Microsoft is trying to make a computer where you need no keyboard, only a microphone and where you need no mouse, only a touchscreen.

I have trouble with this idea not only because speech recognition is not advanced enough (and the truckload full of complications for programming) to do any better than a keyboard, but also that the touchscreen is not as natural as a mouse. Let me explain.

The touchscreen is either going to have to be vertical like most monitors these days or like a table, as Gates wishes it. The problem is that the positions involved are a lot more uncomfortable than a mouse-screen layout. With the mouse and screen, your head looks straight at the screen with the arms at your side.

With a touchscreen, you either have look down (uncomfortable for the neck) and use your hands (which are obstructing the view) or look straight and lift your hands uncomfortably up to edit anything. This is to say nothing of the fact that there are 3 buttons (sometimes more) and a wheel (sometimes that tilts) on most mice so that you don't have to make these weird hand gestures on a touchscreen.

As for the keyboard vs. the touchscreen-like keyboard, such as the one on the iPhone, the fact of the matter is that you need to know what you're pressing to type fast and accurately, and it's probably better that you actually feel the buttons being pressed (as Maddox bluntly puts it). The Optimus Maximus keyboard is a compromise, but it is far too expensive. Touch screen keyboards, to say nothing about speech recognition is hopelessly ineffective.

The only possible thing that can replace the mouse is a touch pad where the mouse would be. Even then, gamers will most likely hate that.

The basic gist here is that I think that the mouse/keyboard layout is a lot better than Gates' idea (no offense to Gates).

PS- Don't even talk to me about joysticks. Those ancient things are so utterly pointless and rigid that I sincerely hope that they stop asking for them to be used in cars. They have absolutely positively no direct control over how fast you turn the cursor on-screen.
faces or a vase?
written by Tom on Sep 29, 2007 00:15
I don't think speech recognition will ever completely replace a keyboard, if only because everyone talking to their computer would be impractical for a library or office simply because of the noise.
Although I use an IBM Model M keyboard...
a title is a curious thing...
written by Granpire viking man on Sep 29, 2007 00:53
Personally I think Keyboard and mouse is best, and that is because a touchscreen would awful for gaming, and I what would you do if you wanted to chat on ABB in the middle of the night? You would wake up everyone talking to the computer!
krush kill 'n destroy
written by Geekofdeath on Sep 29, 2007 01:57
Tom said:
Although I use an IBM Model M keyboard...
Good God. That's OLD. It's the nostalgia, right? Or are you just unable to afford a new one?

Anyways, speech rec. basically eliminates privacy, unless of course you stick some input device down your throat. It also eliminates control; it would be harder to delete the last letter or word, much less both. In contrast, the backspace button on the keyboard is merely an inch away from your pinky.

You in the Future said:
... indeed, I do in fact...
Delete last words "OMFG" and...
Delete word "and"
Delete word "fact"
Delete word "inn"
Delete word "d'oh"
Delete word "eye"
... delete word "Start"
Input start at page 2, column 3, paragraph 5, word 3, letter 5, behind
Delete word....
Delete word "world"
Delete word "delete"
*sigh again*
Delete word "*sigh*"
Delete word "hmff-ha"
Special delete word "delete"
Delete word "!@#$#@%$^$#&%^"
Set right margin 1, left margin 3
Set right margin 1
Set right margin 1 inch
Set left margin 3 inches
Set bottom margin 2.453 inches
Set top margin 1/2 inch
Set top margin 0.5 inch
Set top margin 0.5 inches
Input start at page 1, column 1, paragraph 1, word 1, letter 1, in front
Type phrase "To continue, I....
hello! :) felysian
written by Hello! :) on Sep 29, 2007 03:18
I vote mixed. If done right, it can happen. I'm thinking along the lines of virtual reality.
faces or a vase?
written by Tom on Sep 29, 2007 03:36
Geekofdeath said:
Good God. That's OLD. It's the nostalgia, right? Or are you just unable to afford a new one?
No, I just like the way it feels. I can type faster on it than on the squishy modern keyboards too.

manufactured 23 Mar 1988.
└> last changed by Tom on September 29, 2007 at 04:11
krush kill 'n destroy
written by Geekofdeath on Sep 29, 2007 04:17
Tom said:
manufactured 23 Mar 1988.
Hell, that's older than I am.

Hm... that makes me wonder.... do you prefer squishy quiet keyboards or block-ish old-sounding keyboards (or are you just boring and use a touch keyboard, if such a thing exists yet).

I personally don't really care, although "squishy" keyboards are probably better for gaming.
glyph poet
written by Nalix on Sep 29, 2007 06:41
I definitely have to speak up here. Keyboard/mouse is an excellent set up. It has the kind of precision that a computer needs. Voice recognition is fine if you have the software to do it right, and I know I've never seen that, or even really heard of it.

As for touch screen... no. That's messy too, though for other reasons. Aside from the issue of cleaning it, I know I don't want my hand in the way of what I'm reading. Mouse cursor is much less conspicuous. The only way I can see anything like touch screen being better than a keyboard is if you had some kind of visual interpreter, something that could read your hand movements and translate them into words and letters.

That kind of thing is pushing the realm of science fiction, which of course is my specialty, but it is fiction still. Stick with the keyboard until the computer is smart enough to understand voices and gestures.
written by Raptorjedi on Sep 29, 2007 08:19
Mouse and Keyboard is best, touchscreen is nice, but it depends on what the computer is being used for. Home use will probably never see a use for touchscreen for a long time. Businesses are perfect for it though. And I can see some potential use in gaming as well. Voice recognition is a joke
written by Stargazer on Sep 29, 2007 08:24
Personally, I prefer keyboard, mouse, and my HOTAS joystick setup (for simulation and arcade games). Touch screen is not for me, and I can't stand speech recognition, at least not as it is now.

For the future, I wouldn't mind a neurological interface; once that becomes cheap, safe and functional enough to be of use. Maybe in the next couple of decades, if we are lucky..?
written by Bellum on Sep 29, 2007 10:00
I've seen some pretty awesome touchscreen setups for people who use photoshop a lot for their art. I'm no artist, but I still want one. Unfortunately, it must be a niche market, because they are ungodly expensive.

Touchscreen technology also has uses for presentation, I think.

Not for gaming, though. Keyboard and mouse all the way.
r'lyeh sweet r'lyeh
written by Neuzd on Sep 29, 2007 10:32
Voted Keyboard and Mouse.

I could abandon this way of controling a computer if someone gives me an eye-controlled cursor.
Don't know how to do it, but Keyb & Mouse are just the most direct way to interact.

Speech takes too long.
Touch needs precision and could only be a good alternative to mouse, and again writing is slower than typing.

It makes no sense for me. Good to exepriment on (got a Nintendo DS and a Wii) but stop thinking of replacing something almost perfect.

And anyway, I always preferred Trackballs against Mice, not for playing though.
krush kill 'n destroy
written by Geekofdeath on Sep 29, 2007 12:39
Stargazer reminded me of an idea that I like to think about from time-to-time.

Everyone will have a computer chip put at the back of the neck (if there's a better place where it won't get accidentally broken, put it there instead) and you can lie down onto a "bed" whenever you're bored (or even sleeping) and play (or live) in a virtual reality simulator. Sort of like the Matrix, except without that gigantic spike sticking in your head.
written by Xenomorph on Sep 29, 2007 15:02
It's sad that the first thing that comes to mind when I think of direct mind-to-computer interfaces is... advertising.

A neural interface would have to have safeguards in place in order to stop advertisers from overlaying normal vision with adverts on every surface they can think of.

Ads. Everywhere. That you can't turn off.

written by Stellanaut on Sep 29, 2007 16:46
I would imagine that such an interface would have a 2 way connection. Those who are very efficient in transmitting to their computer, and have a high bandwidth, could do things like email-spam, ping flood people, etc, without any programs. The organic brain is essentially millions of parallel but extremely slow processors, making it extraordinary for doing multi-process tasks, like recognizing sight and sound and doing emotions etc., but very inefficient in doing single-process tasks, like doing math. An organic brain and a computer working together in unison would have all the bases covered, and as such, would be very formidible across the net. This could also, of course, be put to good use, such as adblocking multiple ads simultaneously using the organic brains image recognition ability and the computers network management ability.

What I'd be worried about if information can truely be transfered from and to the brain as if it were another disk drive would be computer viruses that could actually hurt the person using the computer.

What I'd most be looking foreward to would be full sensory immersion VR.
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