How do you want your computer?

September 16, 2009, 0 Comments

Still waiting for the tablet revolution is one of the headlines at CNET this morning.tablet

According to the first sentence, many in the tech world are predicting that 2010 will be the year of the tablet. Predictions have swirled for years that the touch screen laptop tablet gadgety computer would be the next jump in how we interact with technology. Touch screens have been around for years. But no company had yet to make the technology integrated into normal computing tasks. Plus, it was not cost-efficient for the longest time.

And then came the iPhone and iPod Touch. They have served as the game changers. Many were hoping Apple would announce an Apple Tablet this year but it looks like it will have to wait.

But here is a question, how do you want to interact with your computer? We have them on our desks at work. They sit in prominent spots in our homes. We carry them in the forms of iPods, cell phones, and smart phones in our pockets. Our kids play computers with funny names: Wii, PSP, PS3, Nintendo DSi.

Maybe it’s just a question for me: Do I really want any more personal interaction with my computer than the keyboard and a mouse? Currently, it seems the only people really wanting a touch-screen tablet are those with a lot of disposable income or the people who just always want the next evolution in technology.

I believe it is inevitible that laptops will eventually come as touch-screen tablets. But I wonder what the effect is on us.

We already live in a looking20messaging_600span down culture. It is a place where real conversations – vocal interaction between two people physically in one another’s presence – is easily interrupted by cell phone calls, text messages, and a million other beeping devices. I’ve been guilty of it and so have you. We hear the beep and we suddenly become Pavlov’s dog.  What happens when the primary interaction with your PC or Mac becomes tactile? How will that change the way you engage with real people in your office, community, and home?

I don’t know that I’m against touch-screen tablets, PCs, Macs, or whatever else is dreamt up. But I’m ready to get my head back up and talk more often to people living around me. So today, I’m going to get up from my desk and walk a few floors away if I need to talk with someone about a work project. I’ll visit with people in my neighborhood rather than text them a message that has no vowels. I’ll call my friends rather than trade direct messages on Twitter. Today, I’m going to look up.

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