Forget the analog is dead predictions about books and newspapers. There’s a new one being resurrected, about the death of the computer mouse. Yes, indeed, touchpads have eroded the usage of mice. Pen devices and laser mice have emerged, too. But I don’t believe the mouse will “die” anytime soon, just as much as I don’t believe that analog and digital will be an either/or option. (I say this having written two letters on real paper yesterday, in addition to sending of some outstanding emails.)
It’s not just the digital versus the analog options we need to consider, but the hybrid form that might emerge. The Amazon Kindle may not replace my book – yet- but someday something like this eTouchBook application could make its way into my life. What’s the eTouchBook? It basically in the lab stage, where a book could be printed in a way that certain elements on the page could bridge into a digital environment. Imagine being able to move from a magazine article to an online video on your mobile device, or being able to “save” a short story you just read in an airport lounge as a text-to-speech podcast? I could visualize a time when we would enhance, not kill off our analog devices.
FREE IDEA: And here’s a mouse-based throwaway idea. Rather than bury my cordless computer mouse, I would be in the market for someone who could turn it into an MP3 player that downloads content direct to it. That way, when I shut down my laptop, I can still carry my reading material and listen to it offline.