The spread of touchscreen devices like tablets is creating a generation of children called the “Touch Generation” – and they’re heralding a new era that changes the way we interact with computers. NTOMBEZINHLE MODISELLE of Intel comments on this phenomenon.
Walknthrough any shopping mall, and watch how parents soothe their fussy toddlers:nno longer do they give them a dummy, but a smartphone. Reared by digitallynconnected parents, this new uber-connected generation is not only comfortablenusing touchscreen computers, but they are intuitively touching screens andnflipping through apps with ease.
Today’snkids are so completely at ease with navigating and flicking their way throughnmy devices to get to the latest game on my smart phone or tablet. They just seenMom and Dad on their phones all the time, and they want to play, too.
Thisninnate aptitude to easily use a touch-enabled device, with limited priorninstruction, is not limited to personal computing. Touch screen televisions,nATMs and mall information kiosks are already part and parcel of our dailynlives, and children are rapidly leap-frogging the older generations as they getnto grips with the new interfaces.
Wenare at a significant stage in the evolution of how we interact with technology.nThe rise of the touch generation is not only set to change the way we interactnwith our technology, but it is also changing the type of technology we willndemand in future.
Applicationndevelopers are responding to this age group by providing more and moreneducation-rich touch content on smart phones and tablets. Research done bynNielsen in the United States among households with under-12 year olds showedn77% are using it to play games while 57% use it for educational purposes.
Overnthe years, it has been is interesting to watch this trend unfold, and marketersnand decision-makers of technology companies need to take note,” she says. “Inn2009, according to market-research firm Gartner, only 2% of devices bought fornthe under 15-year old market had touch features. In 2015, about 50% ofncomputers that will be bought for that market will feature a touch screen.
Asnprices drop in future, education will become a huge benefactor of touch-enabledndevices. Improvement in user interface, ergonomics and software as well asnfurther price drops will further lead to wider adoption by adult consumers.
Afternthat phase, I see it gradually being accepted in the workplace. We’ve seen thisnhappening even here at Intel. Employees are bringing in their own devices tonwork – many of them touch-enabled – and expect it to be integrated with theirnoffice device.
Withinnthe next 10 to 15 years, the touch generation will have graduated from thenschool of touch where interaction with technology will seem totally natural andnintuitive, just as it is for your two-year old.
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