Microsoft has apparently been kicking around the idea of a foot-controlled computer interface for some time now. They don't want you to type with your toes, fortunately, but rather to use your feet for simple tasks like scrolling and opening email. But now that the company has finally patented the idea, will foot-powered computing usher in an era of healthier and more efficient screen time or just tie people to their machines by four limbs instead of two?
We're on the fence about the answer.
As big fans of the game Dance Dance Revolution, the concept of toe tapping our way through email has a certain draw to it.
Why, just now, my feet are resting lazily under a chair, the blood pooling in the bottoms of my heels and a future case of gout perhaps working its way into the bones.
Getting them in on the action might be welcome respite.
Plus, with my hands free to grab additional snacks, I can easily make up for whatever loss in calories that the added exercise subjects me to.
On the other hand, if employers suddenly find their employees with not two but four usable limbs, will they then demand an appropriate return in work output?
Not to mention, the image of modern workers hunched over a desk, typing with two hands and scrolling with two feet somehow brings to mind the legions of sewing machine operating seamstresses employed in World War II. In other words, it doesn't scream "wave of the future."
So yes, Microsoft; we're interested in your foot-controlled doohickey. Just keep it about making the feet help with the work that's already there and don't go inventing a bunch of new tasks that our one free set of limbs will now have to account for.