Microsoft Joins Apple In Commercializing Multi-Touch Screens
from the coming-to-a-consumer-near-you dept
Multi-touch technology is going mainstream. Researchers have been talking about the power of multi-touch technology for quite some time. It’s often referred to as “Minority Report” technology, as a multi-touch interface was used by characters in the movie, but it’s been around for much longer. It got another burst of attention last year thanks to Jeff Han’s demo of a multi-touch screen at the TED conference. However, it’s always been in the realm of science fiction or research departments until recently. Apple famously is using a multi-touch interface on the iPhone, and tonight Microsoft announced a multi-touch interface for its new Microsoft Surface products — which are more along the lines of what Jeff Han demonstrated. Basically, it’s large screen-focused systems for interacting with content using a multi-touch interface. It’s not quite down to the consumer level yet, as it appears Microsoft’s first customers are mainly for commercial kiosks. Actually, almost all of the original customers are casinos — with the one exception being T-Mobile, who will use it as a kiosk for providing info on mobile phones. However, what’s pretty clear is that big tech companies are adopting the multi-touch interface in a big way — and that likely means that we’ll start seeing it in many more areas, especially within consumer devices. This doesn’t mean an end to the mouse and keyboard as core input devices — but multi-touch certainly opens up a whole new way of interacting with computing devices that can make them much more useful in ways that simply weren’t possible with just a mouse and keyboard.