Computer mouse heading for extinction

Computer mouse heading for extinction

Are the Wii MotionPlus and iPhone examples of how we'll be using PCs in years to come? Experts say the humble input device is being usurped by touch screens and facial recognition.

The computer mouse is set to die out in the next five years and will be usurped by touch screens and facial recognition, analysts believe.

Gartner said that innovations from electronics firms creating new interactive interfaces for gaming and smartphones are driving the demise of the mouse.

Steven Prentice, vice president and Gartner Fellow, told the BBC that devices such as Nintendo's MotionPlus for the Wii and Apple's iPhone point the way to the future, offering greater accuracy in motion detection.

"With the Wii you point and shake and it vibrates back at you so you have a two-way relationship," said the analyst.

"The new generation of smartphones like the iPhone all now have tilting mechanisms or you can shake the device to do one or more things."

Prentice also highlighted home entertainment efforts from Panasonic which employ hand and facial recognition techniques to display information in place of a conventional remote control.

However, while the mouse's 40 year-old reign is coming to an end, the keyboard is here to stay, according to the analyst.

"For all its faults, the keyboard will remain the primary text input device. Nothing is easily going to replace it," he said. "But the idea of a keyboard with a mouse as a control interface is breaking down."

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