Is typing dead?

Marta Franco/CNET

Our devices are getting better, smarter, more capable and yet most of us are still interacting with them through some variation on the humble keyboard. Whether you’re pressing down physical keys on your laptop or tapping your finger on your smartphone’s display, the QWERTY keyboard hasn’t changed that much since the 1870s!

But things are indeed changing, and finally that change is happening fast. The availability of technologies like Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana into smartphones, tablets and even desktop PCs means that great voice recognition is more accessible than ever. But that’s just one aspect of this revolution in device interaction. Gestures are getting better too, conquering your living-room with the Xbox One’s Kinect and even making cars like BMW’s new 7 Series easier to use.

Add in gaze detection, where you control your devices simply by looking at what you want, and you can see that a far more intuitive, more nuanced relationship with our devices is coming soon.

In last year’s Next Big Thing Supersession we spoke about new realities — virtual, augmented and beyond. This year, at CES 2016, we’re diving into what the future holds for device interaction.

The panel will feature a group of industry leaders covering all things interfaces:

  • Wendy Ju — Executive Director for Interaction Design Research at Stanford
  • Vlad Sejnoha — Chief Technical Officer, Nuance
  • Marcus Behrendt — Head of User Experience Department, BMW Group
  • Patti Maes — Professor at MIT’s Program in Media Arts & Sciences

We’ll also be joined by a very special guest: Susan Bennett, the Voice of Siri.

You can tune in to our live blog from Las Vegas, where you’ll enjoy the work of someone else doing the typing. Or if you’re at CES in person, join us for the standing-room-only session in North Hall, Room 257, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Things kick off at 3:30 p.m. PT on Wednesday, January 6.

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CNET's Next Big Thing at CES asks: Is typing dead? – CNET