Not long ago, pretty recently really, our computers were heavy metal boxes wired to clunky keyboards and big, heavy display monitors. Big and bulky, small display though. All without enough storage space to accommodate one good modern digital photo. Look how far we’ve come. See where we’re going…

Wires? What wires?

Some of today’s gear is wireless but we are still dependent on lots of cables snaking around our desks. Display, audio, power and to a lesser degree now, printer cables abound. Intel hopes to reduce all the clutter on and under our desks with new wireless technologies—a wire-free future for the PC. They are developing a standard for wireless data links currently supported by Dell and HP. Called WiGig, it can connect monitors, hard drives, and other peripherals to your PC without cables. Intel is also working on a method for wirelessly charging your laptop with a pad. We may see wireless laptop charging before 2016 is over.

With A Wave of Your Hand.

Ever see a character on the big screen waving his hands in the air as his giant display does his bidding? Tom Cruise in “Minority Report” for example? It’s called Perceptual Computing. A pet project of Intel’s for a few years now, it’s the idea of interacting with your PC using natural movements rather than traditional interface methods. Instead of a keyboard, you might use hand gestures. Instead of clicking a pause button on a video, it might stop based on eye-tracking. You look away, the video pauses. Some systems with Widows 10 and RealSense cameras accomplish a modest version of this now.

The Digitized White Board.

Wall-sized computers are alive and well. While admittedly only business-friendly at this point (meaning big bucks to start), Microsoft has an 84-inch, 4K video touch screen that is wall mounted, runs Windows 10 and can do about anything your laptop can do. Presentations, video conferencing, instruction are all there, on the wall, on a 7-foot wide screen. School kids will be using these before long.

It’s a brave new world.