Will Keyboards Go Extinct?

The technology boom on a global level is crossing new milestones with the passage of time. There seems to be no looking back with the time-worthy, swift and efficient technologies coming our way. The rise in technology witnessed in the past decade worldwide is unparalleled, it has reached such an inflection point, that we are leaving behind many technologies, in the gadget graveyard. MP3 Players, Digital Cameras, Landline Phones, Beepers and what not! Technology has surely come a long way.

However, what comes next is not very unforeseen. The shifts from Personal Computers to Laptops to Tables to a multi-purpose smartphone took place within no time. The shift was also from physically built hardware QWERTY keyboard to simplified touch-screen word inputs. What is waiting next is unique. There have been multiple parallel discussions amid technology developers, that the idea of having a keyboard as the primary source of input and communication is soon heading towards the gadget-graveyard.

In a 2017 Google Conference for developers, the company came on record to present its vision with regards to interaction and communication, in the years to come. This was proof that the developers are no more thinking in the direction of a keyboard or a search box input. Rather, the president of the company at the conference bragged about other innovations of Google Assistant, based on speech recognition skills and Google Lens, which is a computer vision technology extremely helpful in online search-operations. Google Lens allows your phone camera to be the search engine, forcing us to ask the question of whether computer vision is the new age trend and If your cameras are the new Keyboards? The symptoms of camera replacing keyboards was also seen in the advent of Snapchat, when in the age of texting, it brought about interactions over disappearing strings of pictures.

Computer Vision is not the only technology hitting the market, there have been multiple input methods competing with one another. Voice Inputs are growing extremely handy within the consumers, be it laptops, phone or even artificial intelligence based televisions. All you need to do is to express your wish and that shall be done. Consumers have reacted positively with the entry of Amazon Alexa in the market, which can do all at a simple voice command, from changing television channels to increase the air-conditioner temperature. Apart from the conventional, there has been development in the direction of gesture tracking and facial recognition as well. The new innovation of Microsoft- Microsoft Hello has come with the clear message of saying  NO to typed passwords, instead, it is planning to welcome a better alternative.

Experimentation with your laptop keyboards have also begun. Asus, Lenovo and Intel are planning to have a new range of laptop with two screens and no keyboards at all, it will all work on the basis of touch, speech and gesture tracking. Online services have already been gripped with artificial intelligence, chatbots and other intelligent services.

These new input methods have gripped the very existence of your beloved QWERTY keyboard. The rationale is to build an input regime faster than the fastest typing speed and make it accessible and swift for the consumers. Whether the replacement will be a success or not is only for time to tell after the potential consumers have had a hand on the alternative technologies. However, the friendliness that the consumer base has reflected with, from Blackberry to smart touch-screen phones, is inclined towards the alternatives. However, it is a full green signal. There still remains some unanswered questions and doubts over the growing advantage of new input methods. There are speculations in the market regarding the drawbacks, that these alternatives may attract. If you try imagining a world without keyboards, then it seems a little problematic at office spaces with many employees working at the same time. Moreover, lengthy academic and research writing along with collaborative work are still not within the limits of the imagination of the consumer.

What is served next to us, thus, is still in surprise packages. The developers’ effort to an effective alternative may take longer than what is expected. Is it going to be a hit in the market or go pretty unnoticed while the consumers stick to their beloved QWERTY is yet to be disclosed? 


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