New embedded technologies may replace mobile devices as personal computers are being killed off by smartphones and tablets. The “post-mobile” device could change the way humans interact with their computers, removing the need for keyboards and allowing users to simply touch or speak with their devices. Wearable devices will be an early example of new technologies that will incorporate radical ways in which users and devices interact.
Mobile devices are on the edge of being replaced by new technologies that will be integrated and embedded into normal, everyday life. These new devices will be dispersed, forming an invisible network, with microchips and sensors in common items such as clothing, personal accessories and appliances.
Currently, human-computer interaction is fairly traditional as users typically instruct devices to perform particular functions. The upcoming generation of technologies will not simply wait for instructions. They will actively collect information, responding almost preemptively, and in ever-present ways.
“They will feel more like natural extensions of what we do in our lives,” reports MIT Technology Review. “The hardware and software technologies behind this ubiquitous-computing model will become the focus of a radically changed computing industry.”
Examples include wearable devices, such as smartwatches, that can, for example, change how consumers pay at a cash register. Initial wearable devices will rely on existing near field communications (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), and similar technologies that require tap-touch contact, waving, or simple proximity.
Health monitoring devices are another example. Nike has released the Fuel Band, a wrist-worn exercise monitor, that collects data on the wearer and connects to other devices. These devices radically minimize user interaction, and incorporate their functions into natural activity.
The end result will be devices that offer new and natural ways to communicate, whether by speaking, simple touch, or something new that enables a more natural connection.