Will devices of the future just be floating holograms in the air that you tap?
No. Because it may look really damned cool in a movie…
…but it totally sucks as a user interface. Why? Well, first off, semi-transparent displays suck, because you’ll continually have stuff in the background making it difficult to read because the background color is almost the same, or distracting, or otherwise annoying.
Here’s a semi-transparent display:
Now imagine that somebody left their coffee cup behind the display. That’s going to drive you bonkers. Especially if it’s your Starbuck’s cup, and the barista managed to mis-spell your name even though it’s “Dave”.
If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s something else.
Something called “gorilla arm”.
Hold your arm up, about an inch away from your monitor screen. Now move your arm around, and pretend you’re moving stuff around on the screen.
Do this for 5 minutes. See how your arm and shoulder feel. Check back at 10 and 15 minutes of this. How accurately can you point at the screen now? Can you get within an inch of your intended target? Or are the muscles refusing to be that accurate anymore?
Now let’s look at some professional video gamers – these are people who spend *all day* having to move that cursor *fast* and *accurately* *every* *single* *time*.
Where do they all have their wrists? Yep, on the edge of the table, to avoid gorilla arm, and provide a stable base for accurate movement.
And this is something that isn’t going to change until evolution redesigns our shoulder joints.