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.

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  1. identicon
    Bill, 30 May 2007 @ 5:57am

    fingerprints and technology

    Fingerprints are really not that big of a deal. Take a look at somebodies Razr screen and you'll see worse than that. Makeup, body fluids, etc. I know there are screen guards out there but most people just quit whining and wipe it off. I ran a computer lab and dealt with it everyday. There are much worse things...like the dirt on keyboards for one.

    At any rate, people that use today's technology only have a little bit to do with what's coming further down the line. Don't tell me about mice...I teach people who can't trace a line with a lasso around a basic human shape. Mousing technology will be here...but not much longer. Especially now that many first generation computer users are having so many physical problems with their fingers, wrists, elbows, etc. I say, bring on technologies that are more organic.

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