Dying mice, and maybe also touchscreens

The Atlantic has a cool roundup of devices for controlling computers that are going to be coming out over this year.  I'm still primarily looking forward to Google Glass, but there's a lot of stuff on this list I'd love to play with. (And I'm becoming increasingly disappointed with the continued existence of the mouse.)

the iPhone -- and the brilliant iOS software and declining multi-touch display prices -- cracked that computing paradigm wide open. And for the last half a decade, touchscreens have more or less taken over for mobile computing. At the same time, gesture interfaces from Nintendo and Microsoft in the gaming space exploded, marking a serious move away from the traditional controller for non-hardcore gamers.

That's given a lot of new hardware interface designers hope, not to mention a plausible story to tell venture capitalists. Add a dash of Kickstarter funding and Sergey Brin's interest and you have an explosion of new possibilities. Here are five that I've noticed. What's fascinating is that all are slated to be out this year:

  • The Leap Motion control system took preorders last year and just announced they'll be shipping in May. I've played with a Leap system and I found it fun and interesting. I'm not sure it will replace your touchscreen or laptop input devices, but at $79, it seems worth trying out. The Leap uses cameras to track your motion, but they say the actual secret sauce is in the math that allows them to do that tracking at very high speed and resolution.
  • Thalmic Labs has a different approach. They give you an armband that tracks the electrical signals in your muscles.