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January 9th, 2008
Nanotechnology, Mouse Extermination and the Future of Intuitive Computing
BBC has an interesting interview with Bill Gates. In the article, Gates claims that the way people will interact with computers is going to change dramatically in the next five years. Specifically, he predicts the keyboard and mouse will gradually give way to more intuitive and natural technologies. I agree and I have written extensively about how multi-touch computers, electronic paper, and voice recognition technologies will all facilitate this transistion.
There is, however, an even more interesting article on Physorg.org discussing the progress researchers are making in using carbon-nanotubes to manufacture high-speed thin-film transistors. The important aspect of this development is the "high-speed" aspect. What the development suggests is that these transistors will both dramatically lower the cost of electronics and imbue them with new capabilities in the near future. This could lead to some real breakthroughs in the production of high-performance, low-cost electronic paper and RFID chips; which, in turn, will create new ways for people to interact with future electronics.
And when this happens, the field of education will be transformed because flexible computers will allow students to interact with information in more intuitive and meaningful ways. For example, they will be able to experience subjects such as biology and physics in new, different and richer ways (such as manipulating virtual models of molecules) or they will be able to visit the virtual reality locations of historical settings.
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