Oct 15, 2009

10/GUI: Another Twist to Multi-touch Interface and Interaction

10/GUI from C. Miller on Vimeo.

I came across a link to this video via Experientia's Putting People First blog post about MG Siegler's TechCrunch post, 10/GUI: One Very Slick Desktop Multi-Touch Concept (Video).  This video was created by R. Clayton Miller, and the video above is a concept video, food for further thought and discussion.

I've written about the need for more appropriate form factors in the past, and the idea that Miller proposes is quite intriguing, since I've toyed with the idea of using something like a flexible mouse pad as an adaptive interface for students who have problems with fine-motor control, limiting their ability to use a mouse, keyboard, or even some of the adaptive switches that are available.

(It is interesting to note that Siegler's blog post was written on 10/13/09, and as I write this post on 10/15/09, it has 92 comments and 460 tweets. My guess this is a hot topic, especially now that HP has released new versions of the all-in-one HP TouchSmart PC).

Siegler discusses Michael Arrington's 10/12/09 post, Why Desktop Touch Screens Don't Really Work Well For Humans. Arrington's post discusses the reasons why he's not happy with the TouchSmart, because the desktop on which most people use it requires them to keep their hands up on the screen, above the heart, which can be fatiguing.

I have an HP TouchSmart, and I switch back and forth, depending on what I'm doing.  I didn't think of this before, but I have a very adjustable chair that I raise up when I use my hands on the touch screen. Without thinking, I've made the appropriate adjustment.  Not everyone has the luxury of a fancy adjustable deskchair!

From what I can tell, Miller is focused on how multi-touch technology can support the work or pleasure of just one person, which is still how many people interact with their computers.  What is needed is more thought about ways this technology could support two or more people working together.  My HP TouchSmart works well with two people, even when when running single-touch programs. But it is better when it runs duo-touch enabled programs!

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