The invention of the mouse, touch screen, and voice recognition were the most impactful contributions to HCI. These inventions evangelized how we use interactive systems. It enhanced the efficiency and productivity of our lives while changing how we use, adapt.
Today, the computer mouse is a widely accepted way of interacting with desktop systems. It is still commonly used despite the recent inventions such as touch screens. The invention of the mouse allowed computers to become accessible to ordinary people. The creator of the mouse,
Douglas Engelbart, invented it in the early 60s, and it was commercially adopted almost two decades later with Apple’s Macintosh. Prior to the invention of the mouse, the computer was controlled by typing commands with the keyboard. Because operating computers was so complex, computers were not meant for personal use. The mouse was used and understood in a matter of seconds.
A touch screen is a highly intuitive way of interacting with computers. Multi-touch controls became the next biggest breakthrough in the way that we interact with our devices. The invention of the iPhone solidified touch screen controls as a valid means of interaction, and made personal devices such as cell phones even more accessible. People of all ages could understand, and know how to use touch screens.
Beyond the keyboard, and mouse, Natural Language, Speech, and Gesture recognition opened many possibilities to the ways we interact with systems. Today, the availability of MultiExperience technology has risen, and is becoming popular among consumers, and businesses. According to Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020, traditional computing will evolve from a single point of interaction to include Multi-sensory, and Multi-touchpoint interfaces like wearables, and advanced computer sensors. Domino’s created autonomous self-driving pizza delivery robot, which carries the user experience beyond our screens.
The developments in MultiExperience technology will create a tangible way of communicating with devices. With Domino’s pizza delivery robot, users can order pizza on an app, track delivery, and communicate with the pizza robot through smart speakers. This brings a new realm of real world possibilities to device interaction, and will make the technology more immersive.
Although the invention of the mouse is still useful to our lives, touch and voice interactions brought a new level of accessibility. We should recognize the connection between the mouse and the future of HCI. Today’s technologies like gesture, and speech recognition were researched by universities and corporate labs decades ago. Innovative Technology would not be possible without corporate and academic research. Academic research especially plays a significant role in HCI. Researchers have made small, incremental changes to technology to enhance the efficiency of our lives. Gesture and speech recognition technologies are enabling people that are young, old, or disabled to interact with systems like never before. Without Engelbart’s invention of the mouse, it wouldn’t of been possible to have made the leap from typing commands to controlling a more accessible user experience using the mouse, touch screen, and now voice interactions.