Why the Mouse Blocks Us From Being Superhuman

Geoloqi’s Amber Case on ambient location and new interfaces

If you haven’t ditched the mouse already, maybe it’s finally time.

After all, according to Amber Case—noted cyborg anthropologist and founder of location-based mobile platform Geoloqi—it’s keeping you from being superhuman.

During her keynote at South by Southwest, Case, who studies the relationship between humans and technology, said that the inventor of the mouse, Douglas Engelbart, never meant for it to be lasting technology. Even though it’s now familiar, she said, it’s "persistent architecture" that is “very dangerous because it blocks new innovation.”

Instead of using old metaphors to describe new technology and relying on dated inventions, she said, we should look to interfaces that make us feel superhuman.

“The best technology isn’t physical,” she said. “It just gets out of your way and lets you live your life.”

Flipboard, for example, she said, is a superhuman interface because it’s more efficient and leverages natural gestures.

New ambient location technology that can deliver geo-triggered messages about places and people is another example of superhuman technology. Instead of forcing people to interact with a button or a keypad, the interface completely disappears.

“[It lets you] be embodied in your world instead of a two-dimensional screen,” she said.

Publish date: March 11, 2012 https://stage.adweek.com/digital/why-mouse-blocks-us-being-superhuman-138884/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT