A Viking Funeral for the Keyboard–ah Valhalla just over the horizon…

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Looking forward a couple of years do you remember when the keyboard died? When we stopped using keyboards to input data into our computers? I’ve been waiting for a long time. From AABBY Finereader (for automatically inputting text into my computer OCR) and Dragon Naturally Speaking (my voice into the computer) I’ve waited.

Sure AABBY is an phenomenal product. I use it to convert old things I’ve written and typewritten documents I get into digital again. It is a great solution and really is quite impressive as the OCR engine gets really close to 97% conversion. It also allows you to translate typewritten text into English from other languages which is incredibly useful.

Dragon has improve every year I’ve owned it. Mostly because the PC around it has improved as well. Taking advantage of 64 bit computing to improve voice processing incredibly. The only issue I have with Dragon is its licensing model. I wish they would adopt the Apple model where you buy one copy and you can use that on more than one PC. Personally I have a home laptop, a desktop and my work laptop. I would like to use Dragon on all three but for now that is expensive. I can use it on my iPhone to capture voice notes and transfer that to the computer so at least there is some level of portability.

However for both of these exceptional applications you still need a keyboard. You can use Dragon to edit Finereader output but its not as effective as typing. So the great promise of no mouse and no keyboard remains a promise. Vapor. Cloud mist. Not real.

But close.

I don’t use a keyboard very often with my iPad. Mostly if I need to respond to an email and its going to be more than 5-7 words in the response. With iOS 8 I’ve played around with the iPhone voice input a bit – its decent but reminds me of Dragon some 3-5 years ago. Not 100% captured or understood.

You can use ActiveWords (still a phenomenal product as well) to automate commands that you type or even speak. I have ActiveWords monitor a folder and launch Finereader if I put anything into the folder. It’s a quick way to convert PDF files I’ve created in the past into text I can manipulate in the now present (was future).

Dragon has an ability to monitor as well. But in the end you are limited by the ability of the program to understand you.

close.

The day the mouse and keyboard went away will be tough for some of us. We learned in the dark ages of computing to type and type fast. I learned before the dark ages of computing when we had these huge electric devices called typewriters. They produced paper output not digital if you can imagine that.

It could happen.

I will miss my keyboard. I’ve been using it to input data into a computer for 30 years.

Perhaps I should place it in a small row boat and send it off with in a Viking funeral…

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.