The sheer speed with which Technology advances now is so quick, so impressive, that I sometimes find myself grinning in awe at what we can do. Just think back to 1984, back then Stev Jobs launched the very first direct user-controlled computer, The Macintosh 128k:

Back to now.

The thing which is so appealing to people young and old is that, in many ways, we’re returning to an input device which is genetically obvious to us: our hands.

Whilst many people mock Apple, it’s difficult to deny that they’ve made technology accessible. They continue to put the consumer, the user, the human first. Many technologies have failed because they put technology first. Starting with the very first Macintosh PC, Apple put the human in control, and at the center of the device. Thanks to Engelbart and his work aimed at augmenting human intellect, Apple strove to put people first. From the first PC mouse, to the first direct-input interface which we all love today, the human has been put in greater control.

But what marvels me today is the power in which we have in devices such as the new iPhone. Mobile direct-input interfaces will (as most experts predicted before me) dominate the next generation of computers and media devices.

Finally, the thing which is so appealing to people young and old is that, in many ways, we’re returning to an input device which is genetically obvious to us: our hands. Pointing, dragging, using our fingers, those evolutionary hand-to-eye movements we instinctively understand to control mind-boggling technology. It’s been simplified. Much like the Wii, the user is being catered for. Not the technology itself.

In a sense, we’ve gone backwards. But for all the right reasons.

Here’s the design video of the new iPhone 4:

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