Death of the Physical Keyboard ?

Lately, I have been thinking about this a lot.  Is there ever going to be a time that we will not be using physical keyboards?  Will we need a physical keyboard in years to come ?

Smartphones and Tablets

The phone that i am using is a Sony Ericsson W205 from 2009.  Most of my friends own iPhones or Android phones.  I and a chosen few (not very many at all) other friends still have physical keyboards on our phones.  Since 2009 smartphones have taken over.  Physical keyboards are so 2009, out of fashion, whatever you want to call it.  Most Smartphones (every smartphone other than Blackberry’s) use virtual keyboards.  Phones will not be moving back to physical keyboards now that almost everyone loves virtual keyboards and those who don’t will have to get used to it in a few years.

Tablets are the same !  You can connect a keyboard via bluetooth to your iPad or buy a case with a keyboard but the majority of time you type on the screen.  We will not be seeing tablets with built in physical keyboards (otherwise it would be called a touchscreen laptop).  One major point of a tablet is that you don’t have to bring a keyboard making your device thinner when storing etc.

Computers

Now we are seeing more and more computers which are touchscreen, maybe killing both the keyboard and the mouse but that is for another time.

Dictation

On smartphones and also since OS X Mountain Lion on Mac dictation has taken over.  I have dictated some of this post.  Dictation is still a young technology, it has come a long way in the past year but there is still so much to update.  There are many things that can be improved but eventually dictation may kill every type of keyboard.

Dictation doesn’t also have to be used for a replacement for typing only but also as your personal assistant as Apple’s Siri has shown us on the iPhone 4s and will do on the new iPad when iOS 6 is released later this year.

Problems

Some problems with dictation are:

1.  Not everyone’s voice is the same.  There have been complaints that in Scotland dictation doesn’t work because of the Scottish accent.  This will be improved in the future and we will be able to use dictation in every country by every person, we just need some more time to evolve the technology.

2.  It doesn’t always listen.  Sometimes when using dictation it misses some words and if you do not see that in time it could make a mess of your important document or spreadsheet.  This can be a major problem for those people who use dictation a lot and/or do not look at what is being typed when you dictate.  I am sure it will be fixed in time.

The Future & Conclusion

I believe that in the future we will be using dictation for everything.  We have seen with Siri that we can set appointments on our calendars etc with dictation and also instead of typing we can talk to our devices and it will do what we say.  This is going to be the future when voice dictation improves but we will not see dictation kill the keyboard int eh next year but maybe it will take 10 years to perfect this technology but it will happen, eventually !

Enjoy Dictating !

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