When we were doing the early integrations for the Ubi, we received an early DoorBot (now Ring.com). The instructions at that time included a big yellow insert that said “STOP! DON’T PRESS THE BUTTON BEFORE SETUP!” or something along those lines. While having a conversation with one of my partners, he was holding onto the new ring device and unconsciously was pressing the button over and over again. He probably did it 100 times in our two minute chat.
It’s not his fault — there is something incredibly attractive about buttons and the tactile feedback from pressing a button and feeling a click. It’s the same way with popping bubble wrap.
Being a big voice fan, I was excited about Google Pixel its built in Google Assistant and it became a serious contender on my tech wish list. However, my enthusiasm was quashed when I tried it out.
No matter how responsive that little onscreen home button was, having no physical home button was a deal killer. The little tactile feedback meant you could get to the home screen without looking at the device. This is harder when it’s just a physical button.
Apple and Samsung (among others) still retain these and Apple has at least addressed the importance of this with Force Touch on the trackpads and keyboards of Macbooks (while forgetting about it with the Touch Bar on the latest release.
There will still be a place for a place for touch devices in the long term. Maybe devices like the Amazon Dash button will evolve into more uses than a single push (maybe long push, double push, morse code, etc). If the device can be touched, it should be able to touch back.