Computers had evolved tremendously since the first one was created almost a century ago by the German Konrad Zuse. Known as the Z1, it was the first programmable computer that humanity has known, and it was occupying an entire room.
Over the years, scientists came up with new ways of controlling computers, and another one surfaces: by using the human tongue.
Behold the tongue-operated controller
The unusual idea belongs to Dorothee Clasen, who is a master’s student of design at the Köln International School of Design. The prototype device consists of a dental retainer with a ball and magnet attached that slide along a set of rails. You can check out a sample below, along with detailed explanations of how the system works:
The user can move the ball with his tongue by maintaining control. As you can see in the video, Clasen was able to play a game of Tong by using the method. The student explains the unusual way she came up with the idea:
“As I do horse riding as a hobby, I was especially fascinated by the haptic communication between the rider’s hand and the horse’s mouth,”
“Through the reins, the human influences the horse’s posture, and at the same time has to rely on his sense of touch to check on the horse’s posture.”
At this point, there’s no compelling reason to believe that the era of touchscreens is over, although we may be witnessing an important step towards the purge of some control methods for computers. Even classical/physical keyboards are still required, as not everybody likes the idea of typing on glass. Physical buttons are useful, especially when it comes to gaming, where the user has to make various combinations fast.
Ultimately, it may not be a problem of when the era of touchscreens will end. People are different, and so are their preferences when it comes to gaining control over technology.