By this time next year, instead of talking in front of the camera about stocks and technology, I might use the camera, and the microphone, to tell the computer what to do, to control software, making it my interface with an operating system. The camera itself cost me just $50. At that price I can have one in every room. If a product combining voice, visuals and gesture interpretation is part of an operating system, one shared by all the screens in the home, now I'm walking, talking, and interacting with technology as naturally as I might with my family.
I call this next evolution in computing the interface wars. It's what we're going to be seeing on the client side of computing for the rest of this decade, and for some time beyond. Touch, gesture, voice and vision are the tools we use in our daily life to interact with one another. And all these tools are coming to a computer near you. At the same time, that computer will become more distant. If you don't have to sit before a typewriter to write, if you can dictate to an interface that will then produce an output you can check on your iPad, then why are you sitting down, in either an office or in your home? The "computer" will thus become the nearest screen, and all the screens in your home should be compatible. The best part of this new computer interaction is that it finally welcomes something I've written about for a decade, the "Internet of Things." With WiFi becoming the home of your interfaces, devices can be spread throughout the home that quietly make use of the same platform. You can be wearing medical devices tied to the WiFi interface, you can tie security, gardening, and home automation to the same interfaces. How much of this will Apple do? How much of it will Microsoft do? How much of it will Google do, and how much will be done by as-yet unlaunched start-ups? I don't know. I'm just convinced it is going to be done, that it's inevitable, because all the tools for doing it exist, and because there is certain to be ready demand. We want to interface with our machines as naturally as we interface with each other. Now we can. At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL and GOOG. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.