With the introduction this year of the Oculus Rift, the Leap Motion and Google Glass, we seem to have entered yet another period of accelerated experimentation with user interfaces that have the potential to fundamentally change how people interact with digital devices.
While new devices launch all the time, they seldom lead to wholesale revolution — over the past 30 years, we’ve seen just two: From the command line/keyboard/typing paradigm to the GUI/mouse/click-and-drag paradigm, and more recently to the touchscreen/finger/swipe-and-pinch paradigm ubiquitous on mobile devices. Along the way there have been innovations that have found niches or improved on the dominant method — scroll wheels on mice, click wheels on iPods, the 3D mouse, the laptop touchpad, the Wii Remote and Thinkpad’s red nub among others. So where will this latest crop of devices end up — among the game changers, or with the niche players? Continue reading