Where to now with multitouch?

by Andy Polaine on July 5, 2007

I’ve been doing a bit of catching up with my blog reading recently and noticed Chris’s post on Pixelsumo about the HP giant Multi-Touch screen with the interface created by Darren David. Now that mutltouch has become the dish du jour, it’s time to start working out what to do with it, as Chris points out:

More and more developers are now creating multi-touch screens, without really asking WHY. Now that the technology is open and there are communities available to help, this takes away the initial learning curve. A criticism of all these kinds of projects for me is that the model of interaction doesn’t change. Han, iPhone, Surface and this project all do the two finger drag to stretch a photo, rotate it etc. Who needs to throw a photo around a screen? Unless the interface itself is a toy and a showcase, rather than concentrating on meaningful interaction or function.

Like all new technology, we are just getting to grips with it. It will be interesting to see where it goes next, or if it dies from lack of new creative ideas.

I suspect throwing photos around the screen is probably quite good fun actually, for a while. But he’s right in asking ‘where next?’. I’m really happy to see the cost of these systems falling and people like the NUI Group putting together open-source libraries and research into sensors and multi-touch. The easier it becomes for people to play wit these technologies, the more likely it is that some interesting ideas will be generated and/or found.

Until then, there is the danger that it’s all done for the sake of it, as this brilliant Surface parody shows:

(Thanks to Nic and Iain for that video link).

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