Is the computer mouse soon to become a thing of the past? Analyst firm Gartner seems to think so, with innovations in the maturing fields of touch screens, motion detection and facial recognition systems supposedly driving the demise of the device in the next three to five years.

According to the Gartner analyst, Steve Prentice, using a mouse for working on a desktop will still carry on for a while but "for home entertainment or working on a notebook it is over." That's a rather sensationalistic claim, in my opinion. While newer pointing technologies like the Wii's Motion Plus and the iPhone's multi-touch interface are indeed revolutionary and offer great accuracy, they are of rather limited use for day-to-day applications.

With time there will undoubtedly be a change in the way we interact with our PCs, but Gartner's predictions seem to be a bit ahead of their time. Not only prices of competing pointing technologies need to drop significantly before people even consider switching from the longstanding mouse, but whatever ends up replacing it should provide a more efficient way to interact with data than what the mouse already offers.