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View Full Version : Gestures May Replace Pointer




Bushy162
Mar 15, 2012, 11:27 AM
The trackpad may not exist as you know it on the MacBooks out this year.
Gestures will remain, but the ability to move the pointer using a finger may very well be non-existent.

The pointer is inferior to touchscreen. Those who need to draw now use an iPad.
Those who need to type and move though Documents need a Mac, but do they REALLY need a pointer?
Gestures can do it all. Imagine the scroll gesture, but for everything.
The pointer has had it's time.



GGJstudios
Mar 15, 2012, 11:32 AM
You can't get rid of the pointer. How would you know what you're selecting? Touch screen is also horrible ergonomics for a notebook computer. Also, there are many who still prefer using a mouse over a trackpad, since the mouse is far more efficient for most operations.

Bushy162
Mar 15, 2012, 11:36 AM
Yes, the mouse is definitely nicer to use than a trackpad. But there's no alternative to a trackpad on a notebook unless you abolish the pointer. Is there?

GGJstudios
Mar 15, 2012, 11:37 AM
Yes, the mouse is definitely nicer to use than a trackpad. But there's no alternative to a trackpad on a notebook unless you abolish the pointer. Is there?
Again, you can't get rid of the pointer. How would you know which item you wanted to click if there was no pointer to show you had selected it?

simsaladimbamba
Mar 15, 2012, 11:39 AM
Again, you can't get rid of the pointer. How would you know which item you wanted to click if there was no pointer to show you had selected it?

Intuition.
And as there are gestures, you could just program a gesture for every menu selection. It is quite easy, honestly, though you can probably throw your hands away after a day or two.

Bushy162
Mar 15, 2012, 11:43 AM
Say the selection were on a certain button, you would know that one next to it would require a swipe right or left or up or down.

GGJstudios
Mar 15, 2012, 11:44 AM
Say the selection were on a certain button, you would know that one next to it would require a swipe right or left or up or down.
And how would you get the selection on a certain button without a pointer to let you know you had selected it?

Bushy162
Mar 15, 2012, 11:49 AM
Well you know when you press Tab to tab through menus etc. It's just like that, but with gestures. And you would know you had selected it because it would be highlighted blue.

simsaladimbamba
Mar 15, 2012, 11:49 AM
Say the selection were on a certain button, you would know that one next to it would require a swipe right or left or up or down.

How to gesture these commands then? In other words, how do you select those?
image clickable
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10644330/MR_Image_Hotlinks/MR_screenshots/MR_screenshots_2012_03/2012_03_15_pB1_GesturesWithoutPointer.png

GGJstudios
Mar 15, 2012, 11:51 AM
Well you know when you press Tab to tab through menus etc.
Not all elements can be reached via the Tab key. And what if it was the 157th item on the page? You really think tabbing 157 times is more efficient than simply moving the pointer to the desired location?
And you would know you had selected it because it would be highlighted blue.
Not all items get highlighted when they're selected. Many have no visual feedback at all, which is why the pointer is needed.

simsaladimbamba
Mar 15, 2012, 11:51 AM
Well you know when you press Tab to tab through menus etc. It's just like that, but with gestures. And you would know you had selected it because it would be highlighted blue.

Meaning it would get more complicated again just for the sake of gestures and not having a mouse pointer?
Not everyone just uses FacialBook and the like, some even use a bit more complicated software daily, where gestures alone will slow down the entire process of working with them.
While you may not like a mouse pointer, it is still an important tool to have.

Macman45
Mar 15, 2012, 11:54 AM
You can't get rid of the pointer. How would you know what you're selecting? Touch screen is also horrible ergonomics for a notebook computer. Also, there are many who still prefer using a mouse over a trackpad, since the mouse is far more efficient for most operations.

True...I'm using my Pro at the moment, and since I'm not doing anything that requires precision, I'm happy with the pad.

It has it's own MM for other work...I had to put mt MBA on charge..Kinda got out of sync today, boy this 17" is a lump on my lap...Roll on tomorrow....Back to my iPad!

GGJstudios
Mar 15, 2012, 11:54 AM
While you may not like a mouse pointer, it is still an important tool to have.
Exactly! In fact, why have a screen at all? It takes up space, consumes energy, adds to the cost of computers, is easily broken, etc. Why not just eliminate the display altogether? The reason is you need the display to give visual feedback that the computer is doing what you want it to do. That's the same reason you need the pointer: visual feedback.

ritmomundo
Mar 15, 2012, 11:56 AM
Well you know when you press Tab to tab through menus etc. It's just like that, but with gestures. And you would know you had selected it because it would be highlighted blue.

So you would use gesture after gesture after gesture to scroll through every item in every menu to get to where you want? Gestures are slower than simply pressing Tab. And pressing Tab to get to what you want is terribly slow and inefficient compared to the pointer.

As long as you've got a trackpad and no touchscreen on these laptops, you need the pointer.

bogatyr
Mar 15, 2012, 12:13 PM
If they removed the pointer, the laptops would be a flop. End of story.

If this was something they wanted to move to, their first step would be to add this gesture function in ADDITION to the pointer. Later, if people receive it well (haha), they would remove the pointer.

blipmusic
Mar 15, 2012, 12:51 PM
This is the kind of thinking that gave us the crappy touch/stylus interfaces 10-15 (?) years ago.

Simply put, the current crop of desktop GUIs, such as the one in OS X, are designed around the characteristics of a pointer's hover state -> click type of feedback/input concept (yes it's keyboard assisted for many of us, but that's beside the point).

It also allows for relatively small designated input areas (a.k.a. 'precision'). What iOS, for example, does is to do away with most of the need for precision. That's one of the reasons its touch/gesture based UI works quite well. I.e. it is *designed* around the fact the input device (our sausage fingers) is relatively large [compared to the input area], isn't very pointy and that it at times might cover important bits of the GUI. The last point still needs some work (selection zoom-ins are sometimes off etc), but on the whole it's a world of difference to what Windows PDAs and tablet laptops of old were like.

To simply slap on touch (and gestures as the OP proposes) without a fundamental redesign is bad design, period.

Even Microsoft (who was probably the main offender back then) has realized this - compare Windows Mobile on an old PDA to the current UI of Windows Phone and even Windows 8.

EDIT: For the sake of clarity, I do realize that the input area (trackpad) and the output area (screen) could be separate in the OP's proposal. This is in general terms of what not to do when changing the input type/concept. *All* current interfaces for consumer tech are compromises. The OP slaps another even less optimized compromise on top of an already existent one.

warfed
Mar 15, 2012, 01:30 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BnLbv6QYcA

geekygeek
Mar 16, 2012, 09:45 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BnLbv6QYcA

Lol, that would make people hell of a slow typer. Gestures would be impossible to replace the pointer. I don't think having a touchscreen on a laptop is that bad, unless you have a macbook pro. On the air, the palm rest and keyboard area is inclined. So if you pretend you're typing at the screen, it feels 'un-awkward'. The pro though, might be a different story. You can always make a laptop/tablet. Let the keyboard and palm rest fold back and use the screen has a tablet. Like Lenovo has done with their X220 tablet version. http://shop.lenovo.com/us/laptops/thinkpad/x-series-tablet

gentlefury
Mar 16, 2012, 11:29 PM
That would make my job pretty torturous! Lets hope nobody is dumb enough to incorporate this idea.

sexiewasd
Mar 17, 2012, 12:05 AM
The multi touch gestures make these the best trackpads that I've ever used, and I love sketching on my iPod, but for real work, working with text not images, and for games, and modeling, and so many other things, I will always choose a trackball over anything else, a cursor is just so much faster and more precise for many things.

Now touch screens aren't a bad idea, I would hold my air like a book to draw, and It would be handy using DAW software I like the idea of having both.

roofz
Mar 17, 2012, 03:50 AM
You can't get rid of the pointer. How would you know what you're selecting? Touch screen is also horrible ergonomics for a notebook computer. Also, there are many who still prefer using a mouse over a trackpad, since the mouse is far more efficient for most operations.

Apple invented the mouse. They aren't gonna get rid of it anytime soon.

warfed
Mar 18, 2012, 11:52 AM
Apple invented the mouse. They aren't gonna get rid of it anytime soon.

lol apple didn't invent the mouse.

GGJstudios
Mar 18, 2012, 01:43 PM
Apple invented the mouse. They aren't gonna get rid of it anytime soon.
warfed is right. Apple did not invent the mouse. Not even close.

Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute invented the first mouse prototype in 1963, with the assistance of his colleague Bill English. They christened the device the mouse as early models had a cord attached to the rear part of the device looking like a tail and generally resembling the common mouse.
If you want to know where both Apple and Microsoft got many of their ideas, look at the Xerox Star (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xerox_Star)
The Star workstation, officially known as the Xerox 8010 Information System, was introduced by Xerox Corporation in 1981. It was the first commercial system to incorporate various technologies that today have become commonplace in personal computers, including a bitmapped display, a window-based graphical user interface, icons, folders, mouse, Ethernet networking, file servers, print servers and e-mail.

roofz
Mar 18, 2012, 11:01 PM
this is what i meant

http://www.cultofmac.com/95614/how-steve-jobs-invented-the-computer-mouse-by-stealing-it-from-xerox/

GGJstudios
Mar 18, 2012, 11:15 PM
this is what i meant

http://www.cultofmac.com/95614/how-steve-jobs-invented-the-computer-mouse-by-stealing-it-from-xerox/
Stealing someone else's invention doesn't make it yours. And Xerox wasn't the first, anyway.

roofz
Mar 19, 2012, 12:33 AM
Edit: sorry this comment made no sense. too burnt out from studying

gloryunited
Mar 19, 2012, 02:08 AM
Pointers can't be replaced. But more gestures should be added to the OS.

In the mean time, I'm using BetterTouchTool to add some useful gestures that I would expect they come built-in.

Beanoir
Mar 19, 2012, 03:57 AM
Stealing someone else's invention doesn't make it yours. And Xerox wasn't the first, anyway.

I think the point being made is that the "mouse" is considered by the majority as being an Apple invention because it was Apple that brought the mouse to the masses back in the early 80's. They didn't invent it, but it's still never been clear who actually did because there were a few patents around for very similar devices. Apple did the hard part and made the invention work.

Back OT, I doubt that Apple would replace the mouse or the track pad anytime soon, I just can't see it working.

LordVic
Mar 19, 2012, 09:35 AM
The pointer is inferior to touchscreen.

WRONG
wrong
WRong
Wrong and.

wrong.

There are uses in which touch screens are amazing. They are more intuitive. They interact directly with which you're attempting to interact with.

However. there are cases that a touch screen has absolutely no ability to replicate the precision of a pointer. The Speed in which you can move a pointer, and the accuracy.

A mouse pointer (trackpad) can be almost acurate to the pixel in which the pointer tip rests on. This is something no touch screen can replicate since well, your finger tip is more than 1 pixel big.