The end of buttons, knobs and switches

When I saw this post (A Smarter Planet — New Touchscreen Thermostat for Smarter Homes) and realized that even thermostat are going touch screen:

Then I have to think that this is end of devices with buttons, knobs and switches. Or keypads, for that matter. There will likely be a few, but if a common device like a thermostat can have a touch screen, I think this will be the norm for everything very soon.

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2 responses to “The end of buttons, knobs and switches

  1. For me this move is quite unfortunate, though necessary to save cost and make it easier for the “paying” masses.

    The loss of a tactile feel of the devices present a challenge to those who are visually impaired. I don’t even have to imagine the difficulty, after cataract surgery and just not wearing any reading glasses poses huge difficulty in using my not-so-smart phone, Motorola XT720.

    Consider that even in the gaming world things are moving to a touch only experience that is driven by Apple’s iOS devices.

    Don’t discount the button though, even Apple is smart enough NOT to get rid of that on their devices (even if it is just one). Even our keyboard which is a set of buttons can’t be replaced with a touch one without driving people who actually type for a living insane.

    To be honest, because of Motorola XT720, I really dislike Android and it’s kin because I notice that most of them also use touch screens for everything.

    However, I think there’d be a turn around within the next decade to bring back a tactile feel to the devices. I don’t say we’re going to bring back the knobs and switches as they are now, but something where they are merged with the touch devices we have.

    • Great comments, Archie. You make my post 10 times better with what you put.

      I’d like to add, though, that I heard a rumour that Apple wants to get rid of that one button you mentioned! (Although if you ask me, the reset button one presses with the aid of a paper clip is essentially a button).

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