kb-obsoleteResearchers over at Microsoft such as Andy Wilson have recently invited others folk including the head of Information and Computing Sciences department at SRI, Bill Mark, in order to kick off a discussion on the future of keyboards – or at the very least, the physical QWERTY keyboard that we have all come to know, love, and use on a daily basis. The general consensus among this particular group? Computer keyboards as we know them probably would not have much of a future. This particular group of like minded people claim that newer technologies, including touchscreen displays as well as eye tracking devices will replace the keyboard for most people sometime down the future, although as to the exact time period where that moment will arrive remains to be seen.

Wilson shared, “Eventually, [keyboards] will become more of a niche thing, like programmers for example. You could almost see that with the workstation market. Workstations are going to be these altars to extreme computing, visualization, computational power, Visual Studio. And only a small percentage of users do that.”

Perhaps there is the implication that keyboards will eventually be limited to only a niche market – where they would comprise of professionals or creative experts. Mark continued from where Wilson left off, “When you think about a pen — or something like a pen, going back to a stylus writing in clay — that’s been around for a really long time. That’s because it works very well in certain situations. My personal feeling is that keyboards will be like that. However, I think we’ll be seeing them a lot less …”

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