Multi Touch


Everyday I read something on a blog, like Engadget, about multi-touch. People are so excited about it as if it’s going to be the wave of the future. I don’t doubt that in a few years computers will all ship with a multi-touch capable displays, however, I don’t believe that it will revolutionize the way we create user input…

For myself, I’m not too keen on the idea of raising my arms at eye level in order to do simple tasks. My main computer is a desktop computer. I think that the mouse is a more effective, or at least in this case, the more efficient method of user input. I think a tablet PC is probably the more effective device for multi-touch implementation.

Another concern I have is the cleanliness factor. I spas-out when people touch my display. I don’t like smudges and fingerprints, so, why am I going to want to touch my display multiple times at a time every day? It means I’m going to have to clean my display with windex every time I use my computer. (I’m a little obsessive compulsive…) This really isn’t the biggest deal in the world, but it would bother me to some degree.

In all those demos, they have at least one example with the pictures that you can resize with 2 fingers. Every time I see that part of the demo, my enthusiasm for multi-touch goes down because that just doesn’t seem to be a productive way to organize, or even show off photos, but it rather just a fancy way of showing off the capabilities of multi-touch. As stated before, I’m OCD and want my photos nicely aligned to a grid with some sort of hierarchical organization. This isn’t a problem with multi-touch by any means, it’s just for me an ineffective way of convincing me that multi-touch will revolutionize the way I use my computer.

I do have to admit, multi-touch looks really cool, and I love seeing those demos. They make me excited and make me want to try it out. I just don’t see it becoming the main method for user input (at least on desktop computers), but more as a fun novelty. On the iPhone and iPod touch though and similar devices, I find multi-touch to be a perfectly logical and efficient way to interface. Just my thoughts.

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