By Joe Arcuri, Director of Multi-Channel Services, Palio, @joearcuri
Take a look at your website. While you’re at it, pull out your mobile app. They probably look gorgeous, right? Lots of information, a well-crafted user interface, compelling content – the result of research and careful execution.
Now ask yourself: How would they work in a world without keyboards?
It’s a relevant question. Just as the first computer mouse revolutionized computing and gave rise to the graphical user interface, there are lots of signs on the horizon that our trusty companion, the keyboard, is if not in danger of extinction, then at least getting a run for its money.
Part of this is simple form-factor evolution – computing devices are getting smaller and more powerful, and past a certain point a keyboard doesn’t fit the form factor (Lookin’ at you, iPad revolution!).
But even if devices weren’t getting smaller and more portable, there are other reasons the keyboard has new competition – and they go beyond playing Dance Dance Revolution.
The technology is getting easier to use and more affordable. Hackers in the science and research communities took to tweaking Microsoft’s Kinect almost from the moment of its release. Similarly, a new company, Leap, is launching devices in late 2012 that promise an accuracy of 1/100th of a millimeter – for less than $100.
It’s a natural. Everyone knows how to use their hands, so motion-based navigation – swiping one’s hand to navigate a page, for example – feels very intuitive and natural. Developers of systems like the Leap technology envision applications for general computing as well as for specialized applications like art and creative development, engineering, gaming, medicine and others.
So, back to your company’s website and mobile app – the leap from a keyboard-and-mouse user interface to something capable of working in the post-keyboard environment needn’t happen overnight, but there are things you should be thinking about today:
- Are there products or features that would benefit from an interactive, 3-D view?
- How much detail are you showing – and how much do you need to show? In a pinch-and-zoom world, do you have high-definition, high-quality images that help move your product or service?
- How responsive is your web design? When someone wants to zoom in, interact with a product, etc., does it break a rigid layout?
We’re still not quite at the level of Tom Cruise in Minority Report, but there’s little doubt that the keyboard-free experience in computing is here to stay. Especially when there are those out there envisioning the future of the devices we currently can’t live without, think of Aatma Studios’s concept of an iPhone and Corning’s A Day Made of Glass. How are you preparing for it?
Palio is an advertising agency revolutionizing pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing to create experiences that will Never Be Forgotten.