A future we cannot touch
The coronavirus pandemic has made us acutely aware of the things we touch on a daily basis. From door handles to ATM machines, kiosk touch screens to keypads on credit card machines, we seem to be touching everything around us to interact.
At some point in time, this pandemic will pass, and we will find ourselves back to our daily routines. This time around, it will be different. Today we consciously wash our hands repeatedly and try our best to avoid touching things that others have touched, but at some point in time, this will become a major inconvenience when not coupled with the immediate fear of contacting a Covid-19.
I predict that the world we return to will significantly change when it comes to touch based interaction. Customers will not want to touch ATM machines and public devices but instead opt for contactless interaction. There have already been several developments in this area including contactless payments like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and MasterCard PayPass; voice enabled solutions like Alexa, Siri and Ok Google; 3D visual mapping solutions like Microsoft Kinect and Leap Motion and contactless receipts like Invoiz.
There are many things that need to change immediately. For example, we need to change the way we verify biometric information like fingerprints and how we select floors in an elevator. Expect to see spectacular innovations in alternative interaction technologies like voice and facial recognition, NFC and smartphone authentication. The pot of gold is not reserved for the platform creators like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon but is open to all dreamers and innovators.
If you can dream up some of these solutions, you can be the innovator who writes the script for this decade. All you have to do is think, “How would I like to interact with devices without putting my health at risk?”