There are many ideas of how we will interact with computers in the future. One example is the Mozilla Seabird from Mozilla Labs, a “concept phone”. It doesn’t exist, but something like it one day may.
Microsoft also has ideas on how we’ll interact with technology in the future.
It’s nifty, though the way data can easily be slid from one computer to another bothers me a little. But we’re talking about usability here. And in that vision of the future, devises are easily usable, aren’t they?
Well, maybe not. All these flat screens are just “pictures under glass”, while our hands are much better at 3-d manipulation. Our hands can do all sorts of things, and using merely one sliding finger seems wasteful when we have so much more at our disposal. There’s room for much more research into technologies which use our hands to a fuller extent.
One interesting thing in Microsoft’s video is that they show a man using a keyboard. Hollywood thinks differently. They are very fond of “gestural interfaces” which wouldn’t work that well in the real world (not least because your arms would get tired if you were waving at a computer all day). In reality, 2-d screens are probably better for presenting information.
Here’s the Seabird again, this time in 3-d.