Back in 2013, as Smartphone use was growing, I wrote about Next Generation Experiences; viewing customer experience through a lens of constant change, where failure to address foundational elements meant falling further behind. Since then, our mode of interaction witnessed a third transformation, as touch became a critical piece of our everyday experiences. Now, we find ourselves approaching the next significant change in interaction paradigms: the Fourth Transformation driven by mixed reality.

Somewhere in the not too distant future, we will witness a fifth transformation driven by our brainwaves. Here is a brief description of each transformation:

First transformation: typing in the mainframe era. In the 1970s, people typed on a keyboard and used text characters to communicate directly with computers.

Second transformation: clicking in the GUI and Internet era. The graphical user interface (GUI) was born, as Apple introduced the Macintosh in 1984, followed a few years later by Microsoft Windows. We added clicking with a mouse to our modes of interaction.

Third transformation: touching in the smartphone era. The third transformation came in 2007 with the introduction of smartphones. Touch transformed personal computing and became the primary interface.

Fourth transformation: conversational, gesturing, and eye interaction in the mixed reality era. In this era, people will interact by tapping, winking, blinking, talking, and gesturing their way through interactions. An evolution towards eye-based interaction seems inevitable, as technology ultimately understands intent and our eyes drive action without gesture or voice cues.

As more learning and innovation happens in the area of brain science, a fifth transformation will occur: brain interaction in the brainwave era. We have already reached a point where people playing games in headsets move things around and zap zombies with brainwaves rather than hand controls.

With each transformation, experience speeds up and the ease in which we accomplish things is enhanced. This transformation in interaction combined with the emergence of ecosystems will change the way we experience life in considerable ways. I’ll focus on the ecosystem piece of this evolution in my next post.

Originally published at on January 30, 2017.

TCS Executive focused on the rapid evolution of society and business. Fascinated by the view of the world in the next decade and beyond