With yesterday's news that Apple has patented a brand newMacBook keyboard that features miniature displays within keys and an assortment of other bells and whistles, it looked as though the company was making a solo push to revolutionize the way we interface with our devices (again), but they're not alone, as Microsoft has shown with a prototype that allows users to type in the traditional manner, but also use gestural controls.
Microsoft senior research engineer Stuart Taylor explained the decision to tack on gestural controls, saying:
What we’ve found is that for some of the more complicated keyboard shortcut combinations, performing gestures seems to be a lot less overhead for the user.
Microsoft is no stranger to hi-tech gestural control, with its Xbox One console featuring the motion sensing Kinect perhipheral as standard - although the gaming industry remains divided as to whether this type of user input is really worthwhile.
The addition of gesural controls to the traditional computer infrastructure, however, is something that we can very much get behind. As anyone who plays complex strategy or MMO games, or uses design software like the Adobe Creative Cloud suitecan attest, your fingers can only do so much at once, so the option of using hand movements above your keyboard could revolutionize the way we use computers in the future.
It looks like Minority Report wasn't too far off...