Multi Touch Interface

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Professor Fitzpatrick mentioned multi touch interface in class and I think it is really worth seeing. Check it out here.

I want one of these for my room.

I felt like I had been fastforwarded into the future while watching that! It looks like it has potential for everyday use based on its practicality and compactness.

The creator of the device echoed what Prof. Fitzpatrick mentioned in class when he described the possible doom of the keyboard, saying there was not reason "in this day and age that we should be conforming to a physical device." I especially liked how the keyboard could conform to fit the size of the user, most practical for those who don't always match with the "one-size-fits-all" category.

First, I was really amazed at the possiblities of having a multi-touch interface. But I also noticed that the creator said that he cringed at the idea of being in a society of $100 laptops and bringing in new generation of computer users to the old way of keyboards and mouses (would it be mice or mouses??). Although the multi-touch interface is really the new wave of the future, can anyone imagine what the cost would be to have something like that in your room??? It won't be affordable to the masses for years from now, and then a new form of technology. This is a situation we talked about earlier in class. The problem with grouping all new media in terms of new computer technological advancement, we would have to keep defining it.

What makes things cheap is mass demand. Nothing drove down the price of 1.8" hard drives like the iPod did, for example. If major players in the industry pick up the technology in popular products, the technology will be mass produced and will become cheaper. I think that to say "it won't be affordable to the masses for years from now" doesn't take into account the speed with which modern technology advances. We'd be better off guessing that this will be obsolete years from now. Bottom line: if it becomes popular, it will become affordable.

they show me how this computer's interface is more useful for word processing, video editing, etc, I will just consider this a touch-screen computer. Right now, it seems all flair but no substance.

Also, can you damage that screen?

That has to be the coolest flair I have seen in a while. Everyone fears change to their normal routine, thats why I'll never use a Mac. But, I go through the same fear with video game controllers. They change with each system and seem horrible at first, but then I learn to love them. The same will probably apply to the MTI, we will all learn to love it.

Keep in mind that this technology is straight out of the labs -- the lab scientists aren't usually the ones to come up with the most useful applications -- 3rd party developers are. Now that this technology is public, companies will start writing software that uses it (Apple's use of it is just the tip of the iceberg). I find it interesting that you mention video editing, because to me this is the application for which this technology has the MOST potential. The scrollbar and the mouse pointer are so unintuitive in video editing applications that there is a significant market for input devices like this shuttle controller. When dealing with hundreds of clips, imagine physically dragging and dropping them in order. Some sort of vertical clinching of the fingers along the timeline could splice a clip in two.

Word processing is more of a stretch, but handwriting recognition is clearly affected by multitouch. The key is that more than one user can be using the same computer and display at once.

As for damaging the screen, tablet PCs manage to have sturdy touch-sensitive screens. Multi-touch wouldn't have to be any more durable than these products are now.