This reminds me of a design problem described by my first year design studio instructor–which was to design a bottle opener. The best design: Someone brought in a can with a pull tab. Think Schumpeter and creative destruction!
I’d also note the decreasing levels of abstraction in the software I use: Revit, where you work in a space that is WYSIWYG (when looking at a sheet) and when looking at the model, you see it in 3D, vs. Autocrap, where, until a recent version, line-weight was keyed into line color for the 2D views, (Yuck!) & and 3D was basically unworkable. I am convinced the next interface for architects will be a pen that you can draw with on a screen that is also your monitor, and it will be about 50″ diag., at a resolution of something like 10,000 x 6,000. It will look like a desk, and to use it, you will have to keep it clear of papers!
IT has been more than two decades since Scotty tried to use a computer mouse as a microphone to control a Macintosh in “Star Trek IV.”
Since then, personal computer users have continued to live under the tyranny of the mice, windows, icons and pull-down menus originally invented at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in the 1970s and popularized by Apple and Microsoft in the next decade.
Last year, however, the arrival of the Nintendo Wii and the Apple iPhone began to break down the logjam in technological innovation for the way humans interact with computers