Microsoft is working along side Jinha Lee, a member of the TED Talks, on a transparent computer screen expected to be developed and released within the next decade.
The computer would allow users to place their hands behind the screen, giving them the opportunity to physically manipulate their work.
The system will also come with a touch pad, allowing tasks where the touch screen is not enough to be done easily as well. The screen will be able to connect with the user through hand and eye movement, making it one of the most interactive computers ever made.
“A computer like that is something I would most definitely want to try out. Everyone is always looking for new and improved technology, this seems like one of those ideas that will really influence people,” commented Junior and Ramapo, Jessica Gouker.
When asked about the inspiration behind the idea, Lee told the BBC “If you can put your hands inside the computer and handle digital content you can express ideas more completely”. His hopes are that this technology will be able to be adapted to all aspects of creativity and learning, not just used for entertainment.
Can It Adapt?
Technology is constantly making advances, especially in cases of computers. They have transformed from bulky desktops, to sleek laptops, and now portable tablets with no keyboards at all.
“I’ve always been into electronics, and the idea of interacting physically with my computer beyond a touch screen is exciting,” says Junior at Ramapo Lauren Ashmore. “I do a lot of work editing pictures for my classes, being able to get inside of the computer would allow me to focus on details so much better.”
Doubts have however, been raised by critics. Some people are not sure the computer will be able to adapt after initial sales, and that the usability will not measure up to all the hype.
“The problem I see is that this will cause an overhaul in other areas besides how we use computers. There’s also the problem who is able to fix them. I’m certainly not trained to work with a transparent computer. I’m not sure how it would be worked on if I had to interact with it by using my hands rather than a mouse or the keyboard of a normal computer,” says Bob Marshall, a long time IT specialist.
The innovations of user and computer interaction seem to be overshadowing the doubts raised by consumers. Designers of the computer are more concerned with lessening the gap between technology and humans, hoping that the interactive aspects will allow computer tasks to become more simple, and hands on.
The cost of the transparent computer has yet to be determined, but will no doubt cost much more than your average laptop, which can be around $1000. The price will be well worth it; according to Factbrowser.com, Americans spend an average of 4.4 hours a day on a laptop or computer.
According to Lee, “The only boundary left is our imagination,” leaving the success of the computer to those who buy it. How the technology is put to use will most likely determine its success.