If you lived in the era of 80s and 90s, you couldn’t live without a physical keyboard when using a computer. It’s the only part of a computer that you can rely on when typing. The qwerty keyboard has been used for 140 years – it was firstly used on a typewriter. Even though user interface of touch screen and sound input are popular since 2008, the physical keyboard cannot be forgotten easily, as if it’s irreplaceable user interface.
When it comes to smartphones, people now prefer using the touch screen UI instead of a physical keyboard (goodbye Blackberry). However, people are still relying on the physical one for their PC and even tablet. The question is: is it that physical keyboard cannot be replaced by the other input system? Or, is it too difficult for us to change this old habit? These are some reasons why the physical keyboard is irreplaceable by the other input systems.
Reasons Why A Physical Keyboard Is Irreplaceable
You Can Feel It
The physical buttons allow you to feel the letters and characters directly. It gives you certain sensation. Moreover, the letters have fixed position, so that you can adapt it well every time you use it. It similar to a piano that allows the musicians to play without even looking at it. This habit is also related to speed, precision, and comfortability. This is one of the reasons why the physical keyboard is still used in touch screen technology era.
Physical keyboard has certain standardizations which must be compiled by all computer makers. It gives a consistency in using it. Although, in certain countries, it’s made differently, such as in Japan, China, and so on. But, thanks to standardization, you can easily adapt to the buttons and their positions. The virtual keyboard can also have the same layout, but, there is no standardization on it. You can see the iOS and Android may have a different virtual keyboard.
One of the fastest interaction in a computer is through the keyboard shortcuts. It will shorten a certain feature, which cannot be found on virtual keyboards, as it’s confessed by Apple through their latest iPad Pro by making the special keyboard for iPad Pro. They also make the keyboard shortcuts available on iOS and iPad Pro.
People are using a physical keyboard for a long time. That because it comes with the ergonomic design to interact with a computer. Its design allows our palms resting while the fingers are typing.
This is not a bad thing at all. It just tends to be an old habit. All operating systems are still using the physical keyboard, including iOS as a modern OS. In fact, billions of people in the world are still using it. We can’t deny it. The typing system of using virtual keyboard may dominate one day and the next generation will finally leave this old habit. But, at this time, a physical keyboard is still an irreplaceable technology to interact with computer and tablet.