PDA

View Full Version : Apple Exploring MultiTouch Interface Gestures




MacRumors
Aug 2, 2007, 10:10 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

If there was any doubt where some at Apple think the direction of the future is, a new patent application describes the progression of the computer user interface over the years:

Many attempts have been made over the years to improve the way users interact with computers. In the beginning, cards or tapes with punched holes were used for user input. Punch cards gave way to terminals with alphanumeric keyboards and text displays, which evolved into the modern keyboard, mouse and graphical-display based graphical user interfaces. Many expect that the use of multi-finger, touch-sensitive user interfaces ("multi-touch interfaces"), such as those described in the references incorporated above, will become widely adopted for interacting with computers and other electronic devices, allowing computer input to become even more straightforward and intuitive.

This particular patent is credited to John Elias who was one of the founders of Fingerworks (http://www.fingerworks.com/), a company who had done much work in the field of touch-interfaces. Apple acquired Fingerworks (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/01/15/synaptics-clearpad-technology-fingerworks-iphone/) in 2005.

Elias goes on to describe how multi-touch gestures can have a broad vocabulary and invoke a number of actions. The patent application describes how to implement dictionary of gestures ("chords") which are made up of a combination of fingers, thumbs, and/or other hand parts. The dictionary would be presented to the user for teaching purposes but could also allow the user to assign meanings to particular gestures.

An extremely broad vocabulary is described in that Elias explains that each user's hands can execute twenty-five combinations based on five independent fingers. In the end, over 300 possible combinations are expected per hand.

Examples given include "Thumb & 1 Finger" combinations producing on action:


http://images.macrumors.com/article/2007/08/02/gesture_300.png


and "Thumb & 2 Finger" combinations producing different actions:


http://images.macrumors.com/article/2007/08/02/gesture2_300.png


This patent application was filed January 3, 2007 and was just published today. Apple's iPhone presently utilizes a multi-touch interface, but only implements a limited number of gestures, but there have been hopes that Apple would expand this interface to iPods (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/07/31/iphone-nano-details-and-full-touchscreen-ipod/) and Displays (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/07/31/hybrid-touch-displays-from-apple/)

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/08/02/apple-exploring-multitouch-interface-gestures/)



lazyrighteye
Aug 2, 2007, 10:15 AM
300 Gestures per hand?!?
Dag.

So... could Apple, via a Software Update, enable more Gestures on iPhones?

Regardless, it will be interesting to see how Apple will implement this tech in their (more traditional, aka: non-iPhone) computer offerings. Why do I get the feeling the next iMac is where Apple will debut such things?

Hmmm, interesting times...

idea_hamster
Aug 2, 2007, 10:16 AM
Looks neat -- but how do you do 212 and 213 with only two fingers?

Are they really talking about the "pinch" (and "reverse-pinch" if that's a word) that are currently used on the iPhone for zooming? Maybe -- just bad icons.

pavelbure
Aug 2, 2007, 10:16 AM
seems easier to just use a mouse.

wattage
Aug 2, 2007, 10:17 AM
Of course it seems really cool, but that looks confusing, surely Apple will maintain simplicity with their further application of this.

FF_productions
Aug 2, 2007, 10:17 AM
This will be interesting to see. It looks confusing.

RZetlin
Aug 2, 2007, 10:18 AM
Apple should team up with Nintendo to work on this technology.

After all the Nintendo has the Wii with its motion controller.

Grimace
Aug 2, 2007, 10:18 AM
you'd need a whole new type of computer. ultra-portable tablet?

Fingerworks...

Best
Acquisition
Ever!

TheAnswer
Aug 2, 2007, 10:23 AM
This will be interesting to see. It looks confusing.

Yeah...looks harder to memorize than all the gestures of RPS-101 (http://www.umop.com/rps101/rps101chart.html).

arn
Aug 2, 2007, 10:24 AM
Looks neat -- but how do you do 212 and 213 with only two fingers?

Are they really talking about the "pinch" (and "reverse-pinch" if that's a word) that are currently used on the iPhone for zooming? Maybe -- just bad icons.

Yeah, the icons are pretty generic and are the same for thumb + 1 finger, thumb + 2 finger, thumb + 3 finger etc...

so I think that just represents "pinch" and "reverse-pinch". So each "arrow" doesn't necessarily corrspond to a finger/thumb.

arn

Small White Car
Aug 2, 2007, 10:25 AM
seems easier to just use a mouse.

You know how old folks all seem to be techno-phobic fuddy duddies who don't understand anything more complicated than a TV remote? It's not that they're stupid. The world just moved faster than they could keep up.

Well, this is the begining of the end for us, my friend.

Yes, I agree that a mouse seems easier. But I bet my 5 month old daughter is going to know all these hand motions by the time she's 4.

Give it another 2 decades and she'll be flying space shuttles with her toes while you and I and all the rest of the 'mouse users' will be sleeping in boxes under the freeway overpass.

twoodcc
Aug 2, 2007, 10:25 AM
This will be interesting to see. It looks confusing.

yeah, it does a little bit. very interesting. maybe we'll find out more on Tuesday?

mozmac
Aug 2, 2007, 10:26 AM
These remind me of the Graffiti icons from my old Palm. Apple will definitely make them simpler and more intuitive. I think it's great that they're making this they're "next big thing" because it will give people a naturally human interaction with their computers instead of requiring them to learn how to use special input devices. I want to go down on record as liking the keyboard more than the mouse. The mouse has certain functions to perform, but people rely too heavily on it. You can get so much more done in a short period of time using keyboard shortcuts.

mozmac
Aug 2, 2007, 10:28 AM
you'd need a whole new type of computer. ultra-portable tablet?

Fingerworks...

Best
Acquisition
Ever!

Grimace...

Best
McDonalds character
Ever!

Tankgunk
Aug 2, 2007, 10:30 AM
I have to agree that the gestures look hard to remember, but playing around with my fingers (and thumbs) on the computer desk makes me think that this could be somthing I could live with, and might even find to be fun. However, I'd still like to have a keyboard and mouse on my computer desk. Not everything is better with multitouch.

rbroady
Aug 2, 2007, 10:32 AM
seems like something that would be added to a touchmouse on a laptop, im not sure how you would integrate this onto something such as an imac

ImAlwaysRight
Aug 2, 2007, 10:34 AM
I wonder instead of touch computer display if they will put a small trackpad-like "display" on the keyboard or something in the future -- maybe a small iPhone sized touch device that can be placed to the right or left of the computer, replacing the mouse. As has been said many times on this forum, I can't imagine using an iMac or desktop Mac with a touch screen display.

MacJediDude
Aug 2, 2007, 10:36 AM
The future of this will be fun to take part in .... all iPhone users are beta testers for this new cool technology :)

arn
Aug 2, 2007, 10:42 AM
The thing to remember is that multitouch gestures are not untested technology.

http://www.fingerworks.com/images/frontpad.jpg
http://www.fingerworks.com/images/structure/right_touch.jpg

http://www.fingerworks.com/gesture_guide_web.html
http://www.fingerworks.com/userguides.html

Fingerworks had a very loyal following.


Our multi-finger gestures are the quickest way to issue command shortcuts, move the text cursor and more! Here's why:

All MultiTouch gestures can be performed anywhere on the surface, wherever your hand happens to be. This avoids wasteful hand repositioning to awkwardly reach for multiple keys in a hotkey sequence, or to move the mouse cursor onto a toolbar button.
MultiTouch gestures are distinguished by finger combination and a simple motion direction as the gesture starts, so the command assigned to the gesture issues immediately.
In contrast, symbolic gestures drawn with stylus on tablet cannot be recognized until you finish drawing the symbol. Drawing complex symbols takes awhile, which delays command issuance and slows you down.
What makes our multi-finger gestures healthier than the alternatives?

Because our touch sensing technology is zero-force, MultiTouch gestures are essentially effortless. Just as easy as swiping your fingers through the air! In contrast, holding multiple keys for a shortcut can get tiring!
For each command, you use a slightly different motion and finger set. This way you're less likely to overuse any one finger muscle, as can happen with repeated clicking of mechanical mouse buttons.
You won't tire your hand gripping a mouse or stylus. Just rest your hand on our touch surface whenever you like!
A single, continuous gesture motion can do the same job as repetitive keypresses and holds. For commands like Undo or Next App that sometimes need repeating, the command issues repeatedly the farther you move if you start the gesture slowly. But if you only want a command to issue once, start with a quick, crisp motion.
Reversing direction usually produces a complementary command like Redo or Prev App. Such intuitively paired motions are easier to memorize than separate shortcut keys for every command.

arn

sartinsauce
Aug 2, 2007, 10:44 AM
You know how old folks all seem to be techno-phobic fuddy duddies who don't understand anything more complicated than a TV remote? It's not that they're stupid. The world just moved faster than they could keep up.

Well, this is the begining of the end for us, my friend.

Yes, I agree that a mouse seems easier. But I bet my 5 month old daughter is going to know all these hand motions by the time she's 4.

Give it another 2 decades and she'll be flying space shuttles with her toes while you and I and all the rest of the 'mouse users' will be sleeping in boxes under the freeway overpass.

I pretty much had the same reaction. It's a whole new language to me, and one that seems tricky to learn. However, children learning it as they grow up will find it natural. Whole new interfaces can be built on the basis of this language and users will find it intuitive, because they've know this language their whole life.

salvatorereda
Aug 2, 2007, 10:44 AM
I always thought that using a mouse is like using one finger for everything you do, eating, drinking, writing. The mouse never made sense to me. If you use all ten fingers then your able to utilize a computer as you would something in real life.

Look at the interface for the 3d software program MAYA. They started to utilize two hands and multi-button mouses back in 1996. Then Maya came up with the star system for quick commands without going to the top menu bar all the time. Its still brilliant.

Apple will incorporate this new technology into its mouse pads/laptops and possible tablets. I can also see apple coming out with a tablet/monitor such as WACOMS CINTIQ.

Its about time we use all ten fingers when we use a computer.

TheSlush
Aug 2, 2007, 10:47 AM
So will Apple's multitouch patents ever conflict with Microsoft's Surface Computing patents? Microsoft's Surface (http://www.microsoft.com/surface) utilizes cameras rather than touch-sensitivity, but it's still a method of using hand gestures as a computer interface.


Sent from my iPhone

letaalio
Aug 2, 2007, 10:52 AM
Ok, this is really cool :)

Think about it and try them out on your touchpads, there isn't enough room for (most) of them (and I don't even have that big fingers) which means there must be an iMac (maybe not the next one per se) or a different kind of device whos screen is capable of detecting them!

zombitronic
Aug 2, 2007, 10:52 AM
I'm not saying that I expect this in the upcoming iMacs, but with iMacs being all about the built in display, unless Apple develops a Mac Tablet, the iMac seems like a logical debut for this technology in the desktop form factor.

The other alternative would be selling a touch capable Apple Display for non-iMacs, or as mentioned, an external desktop trackpad. Touching the "objects" on screen seems to be the more natural form of input, for example, the iPhone's interface.

TheSlush
Aug 2, 2007, 10:55 AM
This will be interesting to see. It looks confusing.

But leave it to Apple to make it simple and easy for anyone to use.



Sent from my iPhone

BKF
Aug 2, 2007, 10:56 AM
Note the "Rt Click" gesture! Now we see that multi-touch technology is in fact driven by Steve's desire to avoid, at all costs, a multi-button mouse. The man will render the mouse obsolete before he gives it that second button!

TheSlush
Aug 2, 2007, 11:02 AM
Give it another 2 decades and she'll be flying space shuttles with her toes while you and I and all the rest of the 'mouse users' will be sleeping in boxes under the freeway overpass.

Yikes! Pretty bleak. Guess I better start practicing with my toes to keep up with those whippersnappers!



Sent from my iPhone

johnee
Aug 2, 2007, 11:04 AM
from what i've read about this technology, it works best when a rubber chicken is dangled in the other hand.

Wayfarer
Aug 2, 2007, 11:12 AM
These patents may give a look into the future... ;)

zombitronic
Aug 2, 2007, 11:13 AM
In regards to learning a new input language; I find it exciting and refreshing, from both a physical and mental state. If it physically feels more natural than its predecessor you feel a deeper involvement with the device. The Nintendo Wii and the iPhone demonstrate this experience. I don't feel the hesitation, as some do, to adopt a new way of interacting with our surroundings, mainly technology. Others, however, latch on to a process, grow comfortable and are weary of change.

I'm in my mid 20s. Do you guys feel that this is a generational preference or a personal one?

yoman
Aug 2, 2007, 11:19 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1C25 Safari/419.3)

Note the "Rt Click" gesture! Now we see that multi-touch technology is in fact driven by Steve's desire to avoid, at all costs, a multi-button mouse. The man will render the mouse obsolete before he gives it that second button!

That is so true . LOL

InLikeALion
Aug 2, 2007, 11:26 AM
Grimace...

Best
McDonalds character
Ever!

This made me want to laugh really bad. I didn't because I'm at work. Then I realized everyone is out to lunch and I could have, but the moment was past.:rolleyes:

brooker
Aug 2, 2007, 11:30 AM
I'm not saying that I expect this in the upcoming iMacs, but with iMacs being all about the built in display, unless Apple develops a Mac Tablet, the iMac seems like a logical debut for this technology in the desktop form factor.

The other alternative would be selling a touch capable Apple Display for non-iMacs, or as mentioned, an external desktop trackpad. Touching the "objects" on screen seems to be the more natural form of input, for example, the iPhone's interface.

i think i disagree... with an iMac sitting on your desk at eye level, reaching up and touching the screen would get tiring, and not be as efficient. that's why the fingerworks gesture pad is so cool... you just leave your hand on it.

although we may get to gesture-aware monitors some day, i bet the first iterations will use the trackpad on laptops, and mice on desktops (then tablet portables). having a multi touch surface on a mouse could allow you to instantly execute way more commands than 8 buttons ever could, all without moving your arm. And Apple can keep there 1-button mousies. Or maybe a keyboard could have a multi-touch area. if only apple would redesign their keyboards... ;)

Eldad
Aug 2, 2007, 11:34 AM
Back in the second half of the 80's there were attempts to replace the full ~101 key keyboard with a simplified, more ergonomic keyboard that will work on applying key combinations to about 11 keys, without moving the hand. In a way, similar to hand gestures. These keyboards were deployed at court houses in Israel to short hand the discussions in the court. Some people who practiced a lot managed to write extremely fast, but for most it was unfriendly, unintuitive, and eventually deserted. It will be interesting to see how Apple will deploy a similar concept in an intuitive way...

age234
Aug 2, 2007, 11:34 AM
Maybe an iPhone-like multi-touch keyboard is in the works? That would be cool. And it could change the interface based on the software (like a keyboard in GarageBand, tool palettes Photoshop, a timeline or clip organizer in Final Cut, etc.

I think that would be awesome.

sartinsauce
Aug 2, 2007, 11:52 AM
In regards to learning a new input language; I find it exciting and refreshing, from both a physical and mental state. If it physically feels more natural than its predecessor you feel a deeper involvement with the device.

snip

I'm in my mid 20s. Do you guys feel that this is a generational preference or a personal one?

I completely agree with your comments about a deeper level on communication.

But to answer your question, give yourself another decade or two. My parents thought they were hip and open to new things too. And so did their parents. At some point in your life it is likely that some 'thing' will come along that is so "new" that it'll be some kind of fundamental adjustment for you to accept that 'thing.'

EagerDragon
Aug 2, 2007, 11:53 AM
Ready for my G5 iTablet with moldi-touch, expected on Tuesday 8/7/2007 as the first G5 based Moldi-touch Apple computer, LOL.

LizKat
Aug 2, 2007, 11:56 AM
Its about time we use all ten fingers when we use a computer.

Hmm. "Fingers: they're not just for typing!" I guess that could fly...

Well, this is one more step towards the blending of the virtual and the real. Pretty soon we can pinch a bag of chips on the screen before we drag it into a shopping cart? Make sure the bag feels like it's still sealed before we buy it?

The real questions for the future are these: when will we get totally sucked into the virtual food chain, and what will be at the top?! ;-)

HelenAllen
Aug 2, 2007, 12:05 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1A543a Safari/419.3)

In regards to learning a new input language; I find it exciting and refreshing, from both a physical and mental state. If it physically feels more natural than its predecessor you feel a deeper involvement with the device. The Nintendo Wii and the iPhone demonstrate this experience. I don't feel the hesitation, as some do, to adopt a new way of interacting with our surroundings, mainly technology. Others, however, latch on to a process, grow comfortable and are weary of change.

I'm in my mid 20s. Do you guys feel that this is a generational preference or a personal one?

As someone who is 70, I find those attitudes to be generational for the most part. Although I enjoy keeping up with technical changes, I find that there are very few of my generation with whom I can share such experiences. I, for one, thoroughly enjoy using my iPhone and eagerly await the implementation of more touch technology. It promises to be a great aid to those with aging arthritic hands.

EagerDragon
Aug 2, 2007, 12:18 PM
My toes are second class citizents?

Not I, but there are people missing the ability to use their hands or that do not have hands, they use instead their feet.

Hope there is a solution for them.

rendezvouscp
Aug 2, 2007, 12:22 PM
although we may get to gesture-aware monitors some day, i bet the first iterations will use the trackpad on laptops, and mice on desktops (then tablet portables).

I have been hoping that Apple will put all of their MultiTouch technology into their laptop trackpads. It would be amazing if they could do a software update and enable this on "older" machines as well.
-Chasen

dolphin842
Aug 2, 2007, 12:23 PM
My toes are second class citizents?

Not I, but there are people missing the ability to use their hands or that do not have hands, they use instead their feet.

Hope there is a solution for them.

Right on. Certainly multi-touch is very exciting... for those capable of doing it. Hopefully Apple won't forget that there are Mac people with RSI, etc who need to use ergonomic keyboards and the like.

Lixivial
Aug 2, 2007, 12:23 PM
seems easier to just use a mouse.

Yeah, I know. The iPhone has awesome mouse support.

rishio
Aug 2, 2007, 12:44 PM
So that is how cut, copy, paste and select will work on iphone v1.1...

maxp1
Aug 2, 2007, 12:54 PM
If there has to be a chart explaining what all the gestures do then by definition it's not very intuitive.

From M-W, especially 2(c)

Intuition.
1 : quick and ready insight
2 a : immediate apprehension or cognition b : knowledge or conviction gained by intuition c : the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference

verniesgarden
Aug 2, 2007, 12:54 PM
In regards to learning a new input language; I find it exciting and refreshing, from both a physical and mental state. If it physically feels more natural than its predecessor you feel a deeper involvement with the device. The Nintendo Wii and the iPhone demonstrate this experience. I don't feel the hesitation, as some do, to adopt a new way of interacting with our surroundings, mainly technology. Others, however, latch on to a process, grow comfortable and are weary of change.

I'm in my mid 20s. Do you guys feel that this is a generational preference or a personal one?

i totally agree and I'm 25 and my friends in the same age feel the same as well, I think it's a generation thing, we've seen alot of standards change just in our lifetime, we saw vinyl go, tapes come and go, cd's come and starting to go, mp3s come. just in the way we listen to music we've seen alot change. we are a generation that has alot evolve around us, i can remember a time before the internet!

desimus
Aug 2, 2007, 12:54 PM
I completely agree with your comments about a deeper level on communication.

But to answer your question, give yourself another decade or two. My parents thought they were hip and open to new things too. And so did their parents. At some point in your life it is likely that some 'thing' will come along that is so "new" that it'll be some kind of fundamental adjustment for you to accept that 'thing.'

I still think in another decade or two Generation X and The Millennial Generation will still be pushing forward and embracing new technology. It seems that The Baby Boomers and The Builder generation for the most part aren't as willilng to accept that change. Technology has become a staple in our lives (Gen X & Mill.) much more so than that of the the prior generations. It's my belief that the Millennial Generation and Generation X will continue to ride the wave of technology till the end embracing all that comes with it.

Perhaps it's just me; a 31 year old who loves technology and change, but I think my generation is very much on board with moving forward concerning technology.

rbroady
Aug 2, 2007, 12:58 PM
i dont see how apple could make gains on a touch screen display since a lot of apple users are some sort of designers, the work they do needs precision touch which is hard to do with a fingertip.

verniesgarden
Aug 2, 2007, 01:03 PM
i dont see how apple could make gains on a touch screen display since a lot of apple users are some sort of designers, the work they do needs precision touch which is hard to do with a fingertip.

i think it would be better actually, if you have a stylous

what we all have to remember is right now operating systems and software are setup for a mouse and keyboard interaction, if you have multitouch the layout will change

johnee
Aug 2, 2007, 01:07 PM
Hmm. "Fingers: they're not just for typing!" I guess that could fly...

I like : "Fingers: they're what's for dinner"

sartinsauce
Aug 2, 2007, 01:08 PM
i dont see how apple could make gains on a touch screen display since a lot of apple users are some sort of designers, the work they do needs precision touch which is hard to do with a fingertip.

Uhh, I'm not so sure about that. I'm much more accurate with my Wacom tablet. When I got it I thought it was really tough to use. I think fingers with Gestures would be dope.

I still think in another decade or two Generation X and The Millennial Generation will still be pushing forward and embracing new technology. It seems that The Baby Boomers and The Builder generation for the most part aren't as willilng to accept that change. Technology has become a staple in our lives (Gen X & Mill.) much more so than that of the the prior generations. It's my belief that the Millennial Generation and Generation X will continue to ride the wave of technology till the end embracing all that comes with it.

Perhaps it's just me; a 31 year old who loves technology and change, but I think my generation is very much on board with moving forward concerning technology.

These are good points. I think I was taking the previous statement to be youthful arrogance, but you're right. We are a generation that is accustomed to planned obsolescence, technological breakthrough, ever changing standards, inflation and lots of other cultural phenomenon that make us comfortable with change.

zombitronic
Aug 2, 2007, 01:15 PM
If there has to be a chart explaining what all the gestures do then by definition it's not very intuitive.

I was under the impression that the charts are from the patent. How would you suggest documenting the gestures?

PDE
Aug 2, 2007, 01:16 PM
Right on. Certainly multi-touch is very exciting... for those capable of doing it. Hopefully Apple won't forget that there are Mac people with RSI, etc who need to use ergonomic keyboards and the like.

I started using a fingerworks gesture pad a few years ago because of tendinitis and all I can say is that it's wonderful! I dread the day it breaks given that fingerworks is no longer around. Hopefully, by then, Apple will have come out with something even better to replace it.

Once you learn the gestures (and they're easy and intuitive to learn), it becomes second nature very quickly and your hands just slide and glide over the pad effortlessly. It's amazing stuff! In fact, it always annoys me that my MBP trackpad can't do anything.

tgildred
Aug 2, 2007, 01:23 PM
I like : "Fingers: they're what's for dinner"

"Got Fingers?"

or "Let your fingers do the walking" Oh wait. Already done.

verniesgarden
Aug 2, 2007, 01:32 PM
"Got Fingers?"

or "Let your fingers do the walking" Oh wait. Already done.

"you finger have never had so much fun!"

benspratling
Aug 2, 2007, 01:34 PM
In regards to learning a new input language; I find it exciting and refreshing, from both a physical and mental state. If it physically feels more natural than its predecessor you feel a deeper involvement with the device. The Nintendo Wii and the iPhone demonstrate this experience. I don't feel the hesitation, as some do, to adopt a new way of interacting with our surroundings, mainly technology. Others, however, latch on to a process, grow comfortable and are weary of change.

I'm in my mid 20s. Do you guys feel that this is a generational preference or a personal one?

At 25, I'm fine wth their being a new input language, although sometimes I think that since I grew up as Gui's did (my family got a Mac Plus when I was in kindergarden) that I've had twenty years to gradually learn all the ins and outs while my granddad doesn't understand the difference between hardware and software. I don't like perpetuating bad methods of input (i.e. the qwerty keyboard) just because everyone's used to them.

I remember taking my AP exams in highschool with a TI-89 and folks were like "well as long as it doesn't have a qwerty-keyboard, it'll be hard to use and we won't consider it a computer and you can use it on the exam" and my response was "suckers!" cause it had the same processor that ran my family's first PowerPC back in sixth grade! I love the a-b-c-d-e-f keyboards cause if you don't know where the key is, you can find it! lol

But I think all generations get used to perpetual problems, loosing their drive to make things the way they should be.

And as for the guy that said Steve will get rid of the mouse before he adds a second button, rock on!

I'll describe my ideal interface, and I don't know how this could work: In Star Trek: Voyager, the security guy (Tuvok) gets blinded, so you figure he can't use the touch-screen computers they all have, right? Wrong, they have some kind of "tactile" interface he can feel around. Even us "sighted folks" use our finger senses to a degree sometimes we don't notice to figure out what we're touching. Wouldn't it be nice if there were some way of reconfiguring the surface of the touch screen so that we really could feel what we were touching, like those toys with all the rods that move back and forth that you can put your hand in?

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/opg_1959_5810260

Edit: Dude! Sombody has already started working on this!
http://home01.wxs.nl/~wende104/dpdquicktime.html

javaguy
Aug 2, 2007, 01:34 PM
My bet is that Apple would go for a multitouch pad as a mouse replacement rather than a multitouch screen, with a form factor the size of an iPhone. No screen on the pad itself, but multiple cursors on the display to give feedback on finger positions.

My experience with touch screens is that

vertical surfaces are too tiring work for prolonged use
fingers will inevitably smudge up the screen
the expense of covering an entire screen with a sensor grid isn't worth it

so I'm not expecting a multitouch screen.

Given that the iGesture touchpad listed for about $130. 2 years ago, I'd guess that today's costs (+ economy of scale) are low enough to include it in new desktop models. At issue - does it actually work well enough to roll out as a product and does Apple need to wait until Leopard to introduce support for such a device or can they shoehorn the necessary support into 10.4.11?

PDE
Aug 2, 2007, 01:40 PM
Given that the iGesture touchpad listed for about $130. 2 years ago, I'd guess that today's costs (+ economy of scale) are low enough to include it in new desktop models. At issue - does it actually work well enough to roll out as a product and does Apple need to wait until Leopard to introduce support for such a device or can they shoehorn the necessary support into 10.4.11?


Well, the igesture pad works perfectly with 10.4 now so I can't imagine that it would be difficult to make the new input device work. I think it doesn't suit everybody because it does require some learning. However, it can always be used as an ordinary trackpad too so nobody HAS TO learn all the gestures. The gestures can be optional for those who do. I've found that not only does the igesture pad work perfectly, but it's really fun to use too. It's like the iphone gestures, but many times more.

wiseone
Aug 2, 2007, 01:41 PM
Gene Roddenberry and others had this type of interface back in the original Star Trek. Multibutton interface where the button action would change depending on the mode the unit was in. Then this migrated into a full touch interface in The Next Generation and beyond.

notjustjay
Aug 2, 2007, 01:59 PM
My toes are second class citizents?

Not I, but there are people missing the ability to use their hands or that do not have hands, they use instead their feet.

Hope there is a solution for them.

Actually, this would be even better than a mouse, because all you need to do is design a large touchpad that you step on with one or both feet, and you could dance your way to computing bliss!

... and for those multi-touch gestures requiring more than two touches? Bring a friend...

Fabio_gsilva
Aug 2, 2007, 02:02 PM
Man, i think this is huge!!!

You know, it seemed to me that this would create and interface that replace the keyboard and mouse altogether. If you have some plain surface with litle marks showing you where to tip each letter or symbol, and could capture your gestures as well, it would be amazing!!!

Or some projected keyboard over that smae surface... I think this is ultra cool, and very intuitive to use... seems like natural movements... of course it will have some learning curve, but I'm willing to try it as hard as I can!!!

Imagine the MacBook Pro without the keyboard, only one great clean surface... it would be thinner than know, I guess... and beautiful!

benspratling
Aug 2, 2007, 02:06 PM
Gene Roddenberry and others had this type of interface back in the original Star Trek. Multibutton interface where the button action would change depending on the mode the unit was in. Then this migrated into a full touch interface in The Next Generation and beyond.

I've never heard this before, and I've read the TOS technical manual. I think at that time it was a little more "we don't want to limit ourselves by having to put labels on the buttons - we're not sure what buttons we'll need in next week's show." The "function would change" depending on what the actor decided he was going to push and when caught pushing the same button for different stuff from one week to the next, they'd say "well, uh... the function is different this wee-- I mean, uh... in this mode." Until Gates McFadden told the directors they needed real buttons with real labels so they could actually pretend to use the real thing consistently. At which point they introduced joke labels and graphics into those screens, most of which were jokes from TOS or their initials.

And it became touch screens by Star Trek 3, back to real buttons in Star Trek 6, and then actual real-life flat screens by star trek 7, but then round tv screens for the defiant bridge in Deep Space Nine, then a billion real plasma screens for Enterprise, to which they added LED-blinky thingies for the third season. Who knows, by the next star trek movie, they might have multi-touch screens! :)

zioxide
Aug 2, 2007, 02:08 PM
This looks like a pain in the ass, like a step backwards from now. To paste you have to put 3 fingers on and move them in? **** that. I'll just hit command+v.

BKF
Aug 2, 2007, 02:12 PM
I still think in another decade or two Generation X and The Millennial Generation will still be pushing forward and embracing new technology. It seems that The Baby Boomers and The Builder generation for the most part aren't as willilng to accept that change. Technology has become a staple in our lives (Gen X & Mill.) much more so than that of the the prior generations. It's my belief that the Millennial Generation and Generation X will continue to ride the wave of technology till the end embracing all that comes with it.

Perhaps it's just me; a 31 year old who loves technology and change, but I think my generation is very much on board with moving forward concerning technology.

Interesting question and of course we won't know the answer for another twenty years or so. But I imagine that most 31-year olds of most generations feel the masters of the technology and change that has come so far. It's the paradigm-breaking change from that quiet place over to the side of your usual concerns that comes when you're 50 that throws you, though, I think.

Clive At Five
Aug 2, 2007, 02:12 PM
Its about time we use all ten fingers when we use a computer.

I have a 5-button mouse but it doesn't drastically increase productivity. I am therefore inclined to think it's more about the interface than the input device.

So that is how cut, copy, paste and select will work on iphone v1.1...

Out of curiosity, has anyone tried a three-finger grab on their iPhone at present?

I would think that if it's not on the iPhone now, it won't be on there any time soon (v2 at the earliest). This seems obviously to be a more complex UI, relying heavily on copy/paste/like commands.

*shrugs*

-Clive

zombitronic
Aug 2, 2007, 02:14 PM
This looks like a pain in the ass, like a step backwards from now. To paste you have to put 3 fingers on and move them in? **** that. I'll just hit command+v.

According to the "Thumb & 1 Finger" chart, the cut gesture is to move fingers in, as if picking something up. The paste gesture is to move them out, as if putting it back down. Seems easier to me.

benspratling
Aug 2, 2007, 02:25 PM
According to the "Thumb & 1 Finger" chart, the cut gesture is to move fingers in, as if picking something up. The paste gesture is to move them out, as if putting it back down. Seems easier to me.

Dude, you cracked the code!

LizKat
Aug 2, 2007, 02:44 PM
In regards to learning a new input language; I find it exciting and refreshing, from both a physical and mental state. If it physically feels more natural than its predecessor you feel a deeper involvement with the device. The Nintendo Wii and the iPhone demonstrate this experience. I don't feel the hesitation, as some do, to adopt a new way of interacting with our surroundings, mainly technology. Others, however, latch on to a process, grow comfortable and are weary of change.

I'm in my mid 20s. Do you guys feel that this is a generational preference or a personal one?

Personal. Heavily influenced by experience of the hands-on sort, especially while young, and to some extent by education. Age itself doesn't seem to figure in so much. It does gradually get harder to learn new things (languages, software development tools, the ways of kitchen gadgets) as time marches on. Short term memory needs more reinforcement with age.

It's the willingness to experiment with hardware or software that seems to be the deal breaker. Maybe it's just about curiosity, and whether you were encouraged to explore as a kid (and to get over the idea that falling down is some kind of permanent blot on your ledger).

verniesgarden
Aug 2, 2007, 02:47 PM
people that are mocking the mouse and keyboard forget and take for granted how efficient it really is

but i would like to see a mouse/keyboard that could be easily done with multitouch

basically its a keyboard, but also a large touch pad as well... so you can go from typing to mouse work without moving your arm

but the more i think about multitouch on anything more than a tablet i think about the absurdity of it, does anyone prefer a trackpad over a mouse?

BackInTheSaddle
Aug 2, 2007, 02:51 PM
Gestures are an incredibly powerful method for gathering input.

My first sys admin job in the mid 80s involved a CAD system called Applicon. It utilized a pen and tablet for sketching as well as command entry. In addition to pre-defined "buttons" on the tablet, you could draw symbols to invoke commands and scripts. For example, a "z" drawn over an area of the graphics window would zoom it using the corners of the "Z" as the reference points. There was an entire vocabulary of symbols and you could combine gestures as well. It was not only very intuitive but productive as well.

Alas, no one else used this concept until Apple picked up the ball and ran with it.

Ireland
Aug 2, 2007, 02:56 PM
So that is how cut, copy, paste and select will work on iphone v1.1...

Rather simple for Apple I think. You bring up the magnifying-glass, move it to your starting point, add a second finger, move the magnifying-glass to the end point whereby you will notice the text is being highlighted/selected, you lift both fingers, and a pop-up button appears (like when you enter a WiFi zone or receive a text) with four options copy/cut/paste/delete - so simple ;)

Voltayre
Aug 2, 2007, 02:56 PM
You know how old folks all seem to be techno-phobic fuddy duddies who don't understand anything more complicated than a TV remote? It's not that they're stupid. The world just moved faster than they could keep up.

Well, this is the begining of the end for us, my friend.

LOL, great way of looking at it! :D

I do think that this way of "directly" manipulating the data that you see is the way forward though - just as the original GUI concept, embraced by Apple so early on in the PC revolution, was so much better than the abstract command-line method that was standard on most other computers at the time. How long do you think it'll be before we have hybrid iMacs with multitouch displays and conventional keyboards, giving us the best of both worlds? After all, multitouch probably wouldn't give any significant advantage to word processing, but it could revolutionise photo manipulation and media editing.

Ireland
Aug 2, 2007, 03:00 PM
Imagine the MacBook Pro without the keyboard, only one great clean surface... it would be thinner than know, I guess... and beautiful!If it's going to have a multi-touch keyboard, then why even bother making it anything other than a tablet. Anyway two displays would kill the battery.

knelto
Aug 2, 2007, 03:07 PM
One thing I'd like to see is the ability to flick through Safari on the computer like you do on the iPhone. Flicking upon the trackpad scrolls the page down smoothly. I think that'd be an awesome implementation.

rcsalgado
Aug 2, 2007, 03:09 PM
This post got me thinking about trying some more complex gestures on my iPhone. I found one that I didn't know existed.

I've had trouble scrolling inside textboxes in iPhone Safari, such as message boards, etc. If the text inside the box was longer than the visible portion, I couldn't scroll, since a one finger scroll moves the whole page.

Well, after reading this, I tried a double finger scroll inside the text box and it works!! It scrolls just the box, not the page.

I didn't think this was documented anywhere, so I thought I'd pass it along.

Anyone find any other hidden gestures yet?

offwidafairies
Aug 2, 2007, 03:14 PM
Looks neat -- but how do you do 212 and 213 with only two fingers?

yeah, that doesn't look logical :confused:

k2k koos
Aug 2, 2007, 03:14 PM
I pretty much had the same reaction. It's a whole new language to me, and one that seems tricky to learn. However, children learning it as they grow up will find it natural. Whole new interfaces can be built on the basis of this language and users will find it intuitive, because they've know this language their whole life.

whole generations, including our own are currently being introduced to this technology thanks to the iPhone, and seem to pick it up relatively easy. So I think the learning curve will not be as steep as you may think....

maxp1
Aug 2, 2007, 03:17 PM
I was under the impression that the charts are from the patent. How would you suggest documenting the gestures?

My point was that using the word 'intuitive' isn't right here. If it were actually 'intuitive' then it wouldn't need to be explained or the explanation would be very common sense. A mouse is intuitive. The explanation is something like "moving this mouse attached to the computer moves this pointer on the screen. When the pointer on the screen is over something you want to interact with, click the button on the mouse". Even small children get that easily.

A set of gestures, although they can be learned and some may make more sense than others, are not 'intuitive'.

jettredmont
Aug 2, 2007, 03:22 PM
i think i disagree... with an iMac sitting on your desk at eye level, reaching up and touching the screen would get tiring, and not be as efficient. that's why the fingerworks gesture pad is so cool... you just leave your hand on it.

although we may get to gesture-aware monitors some day, i bet the first iterations will use the trackpad on laptops, and mice on desktops (then tablet portables). having a multi touch surface on a mouse could allow you to instantly execute way more commands than 8 buttons ever could, all without moving your arm. And Apple can keep there 1-button mousies. Or maybe a keyboard could have a multi-touch area. if only apple would redesign their keyboards... ;)

I agree 100%.

A multi-touch "back" on a mouse would be an ideal interface.

1. It allows those ludites out there to continue using their mice just as they always have (and presumably a pref pane could disable all mouseback gestures).
2. It keeps your hand on the mouse when working in visual apps (I'd love to be able to not have to keep looking at the keyboard so that my left hand can find the 'm' key while my right hand is on the mouse in Final Cut Pro, for instance)
3. It is sleek (no buttons on the mouse, no "chin" needed on the keyboard) and uncluttered (no additional doohicky floating around on the desktop)
4. Gestures can relate more directly and consistently to their action (for instance, instead of dropping down a "zoom" menu and picking a setting, or sliding a slider, or - worst of all! - using the mouse scroll wheel that sometimes zooms and sometimes scrolls, I "zoom" using a standard gesture).

This would be one "mighty mouse" I'd pay real money ($100+ range) for!

dolphin842
Aug 2, 2007, 03:25 PM
I started using a fingerworks gesture pad a few years ago because of tendinitis and all I can say is that it's wonderful! I dread the day it breaks given that fingerworks is no longer around. Hopefully, by then, Apple will have come out with something even better to replace it.

Once you learn the gestures (and they're easy and intuitive to learn), it becomes second nature very quickly and your hands just slide and glide over the pad effortlessly. It's amazing stuff! In fact, it always annoys me that my MBP trackpad can't do anything.

Interesting! I might have to investigate that further. Most of the touch stuff I've seen looks like they'd fatigue my wrists in a heartbeat. I love my Kinesis keyboard but mousing around isn't as easy... here's hoping Apple comes out with some killer hardware that solves the conundrum. :)

jettredmont
Aug 2, 2007, 03:33 PM
My point was that using the word 'intuitive' isn't right here. If it were actually 'intuitive' then it wouldn't need to be explained or the explanation would be very common sense. A mouse is intuitive. The explanation is something like "moving this mouse attached to the computer moves this pointer on the screen. When the pointer on the screen is over something you want to interact with, click the button on the mouse". Even small children get that easily.

A set of gestures, although they can be learned and some may make more sense than others, are not 'intuitive'.

Well, "pinching" and "stretching", IMHO, are incredibly intuitive - far moreso than sliding a zoom slider on the screen using the "intuitive" mouse.

In other words, yes, mice are "intuitive". However, they are used to manipulate on-screen artifacts whose effects are, in fact, quite not intuitive. Gestures are even more intuitive than the mouse (to make a gesture I move my fingers on the surface), and have the distinct advantage of allowing for multiple action vectors (ie, your fingers may all move in different directions to the extent that is possible with human fingers and hands). This allows them to manipulate on-screen objects in a much more intuitive manner.

There are four obvious aspects to an intuitive interface:

1. It works analogous to something else the user is familiar with
2. It works the same way in a similar context (ie, the "zoom" gesture in Excel is the same as the "zoom" gesture in Safari)
3. Commands are as distinct as their effects (ie, similar gestures will achieve similar effects, and there is generous distinction between any two gestures)
4. Effects are reinforced in multiple media (ie, on-screen realtime display of what the user is doing on the gesture pad; perhaps dynamic texturization on the gesture pad itself could be used for additional feedback)

When all you have is "point", "poke", and "double poke", you fail a lot of those tests by default.

maxp1
Aug 2, 2007, 03:51 PM
Well, "pinching" and "stretching", IMHO, are incredibly intuitive - far moreso than sliding a zoom slider on the screen using the "intuitive" mouse.

In other words, yes, mice are "intuitive". However, they are used to manipulate on-screen artifacts whose effects are, in fact, quite not intuitive. Gestures are even more intuitive than the mouse (to make a gesture I move my fingers on the surface), and have the distinct advantage of allowing for multiple action vectors (ie, your fingers may all move in different directions to the extent that is possible with human fingers and hands). This allows them to manipulate on-screen objects in a much more intuitive manner.

There are four obvious aspects to an intuitive interface:

1. It works analogous to something else the user is familiar with
2. It works the same way in a similar context (ie, the "zoom" gesture in Excel is the same as the "zoom" gesture in Safari)
3. Commands are as distinct as their effects (ie, similar gestures will achieve similar effects, and there is generous distinction between any two gestures)
4. Effects are reinforced in multiple media (ie, on-screen realtime display of what the user is doing on the gesture pad; perhaps dynamic texturization on the gesture pad itself could be used for additional feedback)

When all you have is "point", "poke", and "double poke", you fail a lot of those tests by default.

I think gestures, as presented, fail a majority of those tests as well. Certainly calling gestures 'intuitive' smacks of hubris.

Yes, I would agree the pinching and stretching are intuitive to some degree. The problem is that you have to know that you can do that. When presented with a blank interface like the iPhone, that's going to be a challenge. Many of the other gestures on the charts shown are not intuitive at all. Look at the charts provided. How many of the multi-finger gestures do you think you could figure out without help? When the library reaches a certain size you'll have to devote a reasonable amount of energy to memorizing them all and that's not 'intuitive'.

cliffjumper68
Aug 2, 2007, 04:03 PM
When this technology was first revealed in Fast Company magazine I wondered how long it would be until we saw a practical commercial application. Wow! that was fast, microsofts tabletop and the iphone are here. It would be cool if this tech could be converted to holgrams for 3 demesional interaction. :rolleyes:

mathwhiz90601
Aug 2, 2007, 04:04 PM
I'm thinking that if anything they'd use these on a MT mouse.

Just my two cents.

bigraz
Aug 2, 2007, 04:04 PM
I still feel that the new iMac would be a killer piece of hardware if it ended up being removable.

The patent was filed in Jan. 07. It is surfacing, no pun intended, now, a few days before the release of an announcement that everyone feels is the new form factor iMac.

I think that an iMac that can remove the "screen" or essentially the whole computer from a stand and you can use while surfing the net, etc. would be great and then when you need to create a movie or do some intensive things like photoshop or page layout, you put it back on the stand, pull the keyboard our and go to work as usual.

I can see this touch thing working, with this.

It won't kill the notebook line as it would not be as safe to travel with it as there is no face.

This would be awesome!::D

zombitronic
Aug 2, 2007, 04:19 PM
Looks neat -- but how do you do 212 and 213 with only two fingers?

Are they really talking about the "pinch" (and "reverse-pinch" if that's a word) that are currently used on the iPhone for zooming? Maybe -- just bad icons.

I believe that the arrows merely represent directional options. Being "Thumb & 1 Finger" combinations there will obviously only be two points of contact. The icons just show that placing your fingers at two outward points and moving them inward (213) will produce a cut, while placing them together and moving them outward (212) will produce a paste.

kingtj
Aug 2, 2007, 04:24 PM
It's an interesting thing to note that someone actually tallied up the maximum number of unique, useful gestures and printed up a "dictionary" of them. That part, I'm ok with. But imagining a future where this will be the preferred input device for computers and digital devices, to the extent where it eliminates a keyboard and/or mouse?

I just don't see it panning out quite that way. I think a few intuitive gestures will get incorporated into practically anything with a touch-sensitive display. The iPhone illustrates how it can be implemented in a good way.

But as soon as you require learning a whole new "language" just to do the input/control of the device? People become disinterested. I remember years ago, a company invented a "more efficient keyboard" that had the user stick their fingers and thumbs into a pair of glove-like contraptions mounted to square bases, similar in size to mouse-pads. Each key could be "typed" by simply twitching a finger inside the "glove", either up, down, left or right. With enough practice, typing speed could shoot through the roof - and in theory, it should have eliminated carpal-tunnel too. But where are these today? I doubt most people have ever seen one, much less used one!

The problem is, it has too high a learning curve for most people. The standard keyboard is practically universal. You know your PC at work will type just like your PC at home, which worked just like your old typewriter, and it scales down to virtual on-screen keyboards, or mini-keys on a slide-out cellphone keyboard. Learn once, and use anywhere.

Some copyrighted collection of 200-300 "gestures" only used in Apple-branded devices just aren't going to appeal to many people.


You know how old folks all seem to be techno-phobic fuddy duddies who don't understand anything more complicated than a TV remote? It's not that they're stupid. The world just moved faster than they could keep up.

Well, this is the begining of the end for us, my friend.

Yes, I agree that a mouse seems easier. But I bet my 5 month old daughter is going to know all these hand motions by the time she's 4.

Give it another 2 decades and she'll be flying space shuttles with her toes while you and I and all the rest of the 'mouse users' will be sleeping in boxes under the freeway overpass.

jettredmont
Aug 2, 2007, 04:36 PM
I think gestures, as presented, fail a majority of those tests as well. Certainly calling gestures 'intuitive' smacks of hubris.


There are various levels of "failure". Likewise, "intuitive" is something that it is unlikely any artificial interface for which our DNA has not been hardwired will ever achieve. At best, we approach it. IMHO, multi-point gestures can get a lot closer than single-point (mouse) gestures can.


Yes, I would agree the pinching and stretching are intuitive to some degree. The problem is that you have to know that you can do that.


You also have to know how to use a mouse and that when using it to point and drag a "slider" on the screen that it will do the same. When the number of gestures is small, such knowledge spreads amazingly quickly. My mother (who is as far from technologically in-tune as one could be) was interested and amazed by the iPhone stretch/pinch gestures after seeing them on commercials just twice.


When presented with a blank interface like the iPhone, that's going to be a challenge. Many of the other gestures on the charts shown are not intuitive at all. Look at the charts provided. How many of the multi-finger gestures do you think you could figure out without help? When the library reaches a certain size you'll have to devote a reasonable amount of energy to memorizing them all and that's not 'intuitive'.

Absolutely. The point of the chart was not, so far as I can see, to say, "these gestures will appear in the next device", or even, "these gestures mean these things". A patent application, by its nature, needs to be broad in terms of possible applications.

I'd expect that a small handful of gestures would appear in a future device of some sort, not a library of 300+. My assertion isn't that these particular gestures are or are not intuitive (note for instance that the now-established pinch/stretch gestrues are labeled differently in the original charts) but that the incorporation of multi-point gestures will allow for more intuitive gestures than are currently possible.

Again, though, if you are willing to deem mouse manipulation of objects "intuitive" then you have already declared a very wide range which is acceptably "intuitive". We are currently nowhere near your original definition of "intuition", nor mine. We have "discoverable" and "consistent" as the hallmarks of the most intuitive user interfaces. Allowing more points to express a user's intent than just one can only increase the ability to communicate. Instead of just pointing and saying "Ugh", we now can use five different vowels!

tobie
Aug 2, 2007, 04:38 PM
Perhaps this should not be compared to input devices for a desktop computer. It's not a mouse and keyboard replacement - it's been mentioned already that keyboards are actually pretty good at what they do, after all you can use 8 fingers and 2 thumbs.

Multitouch screens become a better proposition for user input when you consider a pocket size device like the iPhone. It's pretty tricky to crowd your fingers around physical buttons on a mobile phone. So the short cuts associated with desktop use just aren't there in a physical phone interface, at least not in such a rich form. So gestures work well when space is limited.

Another great thing about a virtual interface is its flexibility, that it can be updated by the publisher through software updates, or configured by the user through preferences. It would be trivial to flip the mapping of thumb and finger if you are left handed for example, though I guess this is not an issue anyway as a stroke is a stroke is a stroke, no matter where you stroke from!

The form computers take is changing, or rather the variety of things that are computational is growing. We're getting comfortable with using computers in different situations, and developing new ways to use them in response to the constraints of those situations.

I don't want a keyboard in my pocket like I don't want to a touchscreen on my desk.

Toe controlled rockets are always good though...

arn
Aug 2, 2007, 04:49 PM
can anyone with a fingerworks device post video (youtube) of its use?

arn

jettredmont
Aug 2, 2007, 04:51 PM
I remember taking my AP exams in highschool with a TI-89 and folks were like "well as long as it doesn't have a qwerty-keyboard, it'll be hard to use and we won't consider it a computer and you can use it on the exam" and my response was "suckers!" cause it had the same processor that ran my family's first PowerPC back in sixth grade! I love the a-b-c-d-e-f keyboards cause if you don't know where the key is, you can find it! lol


Really?

They wouldn't let us use any form of electronics at all on the APs (English, Calc AB, Calc BC, Chem, and Biology)! This was 1990 and 1991, and I had a TI-81 (TI's original graphing calculator), and the TI-89 didn't come out until 1998, so I'm guessing you're talking about around then. Had I had the TI-81 in there with me, the Calc test, at the very least, would have been balls-easy. I mean, you could store all sorts of cheat notes on that thing!

Just shows how "consistent" those tests are ... Looking up TI-89 on Wikipedia I find they allow those things in the SAT now too ... kids these days!

tobie
Aug 2, 2007, 05:12 PM
can anyone with a fingerworks device post video (youtube) of its use?

arn

The best I can do is a pair of teleoperated arms spinning a hoop. The children are terrified.

dicklacara
Aug 2, 2007, 05:26 PM
In regards to learning a new input language; I find it exciting and refreshing, from both a physical and mental state. If it physically feels more natural than its predecessor you feel a deeper involvement with the device. The Nintendo Wii and the iPhone demonstrate this experience. I don't feel the hesitation, as some do, to adopt a new way of interacting with our surroundings, mainly technology. Others, however, latch on to a process, grow comfortable and are weary of change.

I'm in my mid 20s. Do you guys feel that this is a generational preference or a personal one?

The reference to "chords" brings to mind the 1968 movie

http://www.cedmagic.com/history/first-computer-mouse.html

where Doug Englebart introduced the mouse to the
world... the rest is history.

Also introduced in that move was a 5-finger keyboard called a "chord keyset" device. Doug used the keyset to enter text by pressing a combination of 1-5 keys.

It, supposedly took a bit of learning (as if the mouse didn't), but once mastered, text entry was easy and fast. An additional advantage was that chording could be done with one hand while, concurrently, mousing was done with the other.

It just may be that we are in the early stages of a new era of text entry.

tobie
Aug 2, 2007, 05:38 PM
It just may be that we are in the early stages of a new era of text entry.

For sure, though gestural inputs are more like a set of command shortcuts, representations of discreet tasks rather than typed text.

tobie
Aug 2, 2007, 06:07 PM
Nothing to do with Apple, but this is a nice touch interface for composing music:
http://www.jamespatten.com/audiopad/index.php

A direct link to a QuickTime demo
http://www.jamespatten.com/audiopad/vid1.php

And of course there's the system used in Minority report. There's an interesting story about this, in terms of how films can influence technology innovation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bn-zZX9kdc

These use gestures across a larger space, a bit like the Wii

ppdix
Aug 2, 2007, 06:17 PM
I was watching Star Trek Enterprise last night... They were playing with a "Pad"... It looks like a silver enclosure with a 7" to 9" backlit screen and a thickness of probably 1/2"...
:apple: now has the closest thing to the "pad" ever on its iPhone. But why stop there? Instead of creating a sub-notebook laptop, which Sony and others have already done, create an iPad with all the iPhone's multi-touch features, minus the phone, and put a REAL Mac OS X on it. The iPad would be to portable computers what the iPhone is compared to a flip-phone. No need to flip open a screen to make the thing thicker. Make it a 1/4" thick with some kind of memory card slot and a nice, big multi-touch screen... Millions will buy it and :apple: will rule the future! :rolleyes:

Highland
Aug 2, 2007, 06:46 PM
Allowing more points to express a user's intent than just one can only increase the ability to communicate. Instead of just pointing and saying "Ugh", we now can use five different vowels!
Said brilliantly.

I see the keyboard staying (hey, it's been challenges many times before, but never really bettered... and using words to communicate isn't going away any time soon), but multi touch could easily replace the mouse as the main input device on a lot of computers (by "computers" I don't just mean desktops).

Bring on the revolution!

Voltayre
Aug 2, 2007, 06:47 PM
I still feel that the new iMac would be a killer piece of hardware if it ended up being removable.

The patent was filed in Jan. 07. It is surfacing, no pun intended, now, a few days before the release of an announcement that everyone feels is the new form factor iMac.

I think that an iMac that can remove the "screen" or essentially the whole computer from a stand and you can use while surfing the net, etc. would be great and then when you need to create a movie or do some intensive things like photoshop or page layout, you put it back on the stand, pull the keyboard our and go to work as usual.

I can see this touch thing working, with this.

I seem to recall there being a PC laptop built along these lines before - it had a detachable screen that could be used as a tablet, but it was essentially a dumb terminal, linking to the laptop proper over wireless. This made it utterly useless for anything more demanding than using Word - it couldn't even handle video when the screen was detached, and certainly not anything like 3D. Of course, it lacked multitouch and high-speed 802.11n networking, but the complete and utter failure of similar albeit more primitive concepts in the PC market before might make Apple wary of doing something similar themselves - in much the same way that they have shown reluctance to embrace the PDA and tablet PC markets.

BillyG
Aug 2, 2007, 09:51 PM
Apple releases updated iMac. In addition to being visually stunning new iMac include hardware H.264 encoding and decoding. iMac will be mouse less. Touchpad supporting gestures replaces mouse. Favoring zero buttons over one button mouse. H.264 hardware and gestures will also be included in updated Mac book and Mac book Pro.

iAlan
Aug 2, 2007, 10:11 PM
Yeah...looks harder to memorize than all the gestures of RPS-101 (http://www.umop.com/rps101/rps101chart.html).


'Quicksand' looks rude!

I think I will stick to 'Rock' 'Paper' 'Scissors'

Back on topic....

I think 'MultiTouch' is the next logical step in computing - and to me this would include motion capture gloves and other devices (Wii).

I am sure that there were many who said the mouse would never be popular as well

Yankees 4 Life
Aug 2, 2007, 10:43 PM
this might not be good. i hope they dont get rid of my keyboard

dontmatter
Aug 3, 2007, 01:57 AM
These remind me of the Graffiti icons from my old Palm. Apple will definitely make them simpler and more intuitive. I think it's great that they're making this they're "next big thing" because it will give people a naturally human interaction with their computers instead of requiring them to learn how to use special input devices. I want to go down on record as liking the keyboard more than the mouse. The mouse has certain functions to perform, but people rely too heavily on it. You can get so much more done in a short period of time using keyboard shortcuts.

I like your analogy with keyboard shortcuts on this, I think it shows the strengths and weaknesses of these gestures. These look like fast, easy ways to get jobs done, but require learning rather than intuition. I think you could fly on such a device, much as keyboard shortcuts allow you to do so, but I also think that few would, because the effort to learn them would be too great for most. Things that need to be learned are great if you know them, but if you have a job to do, and you don't know how to do it, figuring out can be quite tricky and frustrating, because it's not what your'e actually trying to do. I wouldn't expect apple to release a device capable of more than 10 gestures or so, and if they did release such a device (or even one with fewer), they would be redundant, so one can save time but doesn't need to know them, like keyboard shortcuts.

Steoke
Aug 3, 2007, 02:14 AM
(finally, my first post!)

Imagine this: the difference between laptops and desktops starts to fade!

It is proven that vertical screens aren't so user friendly. It would be much easier to use a screen that lies flat on your desk.

So, let's put down the current iMac from the stand on the table, slightly tilted. Where the chin is, you could easily insert a full keyboard (especially if the 17' model is discontinued). A trackpad or mouse are still possible but... if the screen is touch sensitive, it would provide a whole new way of using a computer. In fact, you would be able to input text in the 'classic' way or using the touch interface, same goes for other uses then data entry.

The difference between desktop and laptop is only... the battery! iMac would not have a battery, so that it would be harder to move (and perhaps the size: who would want a 24' laptop?).

What do you think?
:-)

princigalli
Aug 3, 2007, 03:12 AM
It's great but most of those patent applications will not see the light on mac computers for the next 10 years. I think |Microsoft is leading the way (for once) and Apple will have to follow once they see they can't stay behind.

Much Ado
Aug 3, 2007, 03:26 AM
It's great but most of those patent applications will not see the light on mac computers for the next 10 years. I think |Microsoft is leading the way (for once) and Apple will have to follow once they see they can't stay behind.

Why? Apple have a Multi-Touch computer in the form of the iPhone, and MS have a multi-touch computer in the form of the surface table thing.

Neither have as of yet announced anything in the way of a full on multi-touch PC, and i'd bet both are looking at it very closely. It's way too early to be calling the shots now.

Cloudsurfer
Aug 3, 2007, 04:04 AM
pff, I give up. Bye bye, keyboard and mouse. :(

MarcelV
Aug 3, 2007, 05:03 AM
I think that an iMac that can remove the "screen" or essentially the whole computer from a stand and you can use while surfing the net, etc. would be great and then when you need to create a movie or do some intensive things like photoshop or page layout, you put it back on the stand, pull the keyboard our and go to work as usual.
Sounds great, but if the rumors of 20 and 24 inch are true, I don't see this working. Sitting on the couch, browse the web on a 24 inch screen in your lap. Sounds uncomfortable. Heck, 17 inch on a powerboook feels sometimes big already. But I can see up to a 15 inch screen work that way. But then 15 inch for a desktop doesn't cut it anymore.

joejoejoe
Aug 3, 2007, 05:15 AM
you guys look at this:

http://www.bmwusa.com/BMW2003/Templates/Common/Video6Panel.aspx?NRMODE=Published&NRNODEGUID=%7bD90E98F0-E33E-41BB-91CE-23E4DCB8C8C0%7d&NRORIGINALURL=%2funiquelybmw%2ffuture_technologies&NRCACHEHINT=Guest

how much does this remind you of this patent?

why aren't BMW and Apple working together... first iDrive and the click wheel... now this...

hob
Aug 3, 2007, 06:06 AM
In my opinion, the mouse is not particularly intuitive.

Just because you can explain it to someone fairly easily does not make it intuitive.

Example:

http://www.starfleetlibrary.com/movies/images/10_iv_hello_computer.jpg

zombitronic
Aug 3, 2007, 09:36 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-d_CHY92Aw

gloss
Aug 3, 2007, 09:48 AM
http://www.starfleetlibrary.com/movies/images/10_iv_hello_computer.jpg

"Oh. How quaint."

ppdix
Aug 3, 2007, 10:25 AM
:D very cool... I loved that scene. The Mac, and Scotty, saved the planet from extinction!

Cheers

P

ppdix
Aug 3, 2007, 10:36 AM
Why? Apple have a Multi-Touch computer in the form of the iPhone, and MS have a multi-touch computer in the form of the surface table thing.

Neither have as of yet announced anything in the way of a full on multi-touch PC, and i'd bet both are looking at it very closely. It's way too early to be calling the shots now.

Unfortunately, Apple "seems" to be ahead of the game, but they are not. PC's have had tablet PC's for years now, Laptops with Swivel Screens, The New Samsung Q1, which is a 7" TFT Touch Screen Ultra Mobile PC and of course super hot deals like Walmart's $399 14" Acer Aspire Laptop with CD-RW and WiFi... That is why the sell millions when Apple sells thousands. That is why PC's rule the market. There are hundreds of brands with dreadful Windows but only ONE Apple.
Apple tried branching out back in the 90's with PowerComputing clones and it didn't work. They should have done it from the beginning, but no, they wanted to be the "elite" of computers... Elites are usually just a few lucky ones... They dug their own graves in that sense. It is sad that a music player like the iPod brought the company back into track, where the heart and soul of the Mac is not the computer case, but the Mac OS.
It seems nobody knows about this but there is a Mac OS tablet out there. It is called the ModBook by Axiotron which even comes with GPS... http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ModBook
A little expensive but something that Apple should have done long time ago...

koobcamuk
Aug 3, 2007, 11:13 AM
I pretty much had the same reaction. It's a whole new language to me, and one that seems tricky to learn. However, children learning it as they grow up will find it natural. Whole new interfaces can be built on the basis of this language and users will find it intuitive, because they've know this language their whole life.

We'll be fine. Just keep your finger on the pulse. Or the touchpad...

koobcamuk
Aug 3, 2007, 11:18 AM
It is proven that vertical screens aren't so user friendly. It would be much easier to use a screen that lies flat on your desk.

Do you have eyes in your chin? How has it been proven that looking straight forwards is bad for you, and that it's better to look down all the time?

It would seriously hurt.

What do you think?
:-)

You seem really nice, and I almost feel bad being negative toward you, but it won't happen.

koobcamuk
Aug 3, 2007, 11:21 AM
I like your analogy with keyboard shortcuts on this, I think it shows the strengths and weaknesses of these gestures. These look like fast, easy ways to get jobs done, but require learning rather than intuition. I think you could fly on such a device, much as keyboard shortcuts allow you to do so, but I also think that few would, because the effort to learn them would be too great for most. Things that need to be learned are great if you know them, but if you have a job to do, and you don't know how to do it, figuring out can be quite tricky and frustrating, because it's not what your'e actually trying to do. I wouldn't expect apple to release a device capable of more than 10 gestures or so, and if they did release such a device (or even one with fewer), they would be redundant, so one can save time but doesn't need to know them, like keyboard shortcuts.

Agreed. They don't have to learn a new input device. They have to learn what their fingers do. I don't like to rely on my mouse because of the waste/drain on the battery. It's also a lot better to use keyboard shortcuts, but telling my girlfriend that only makes her mad.

zombitronic
Aug 3, 2007, 02:39 PM
http://www.italiamac.it/images/stories/Highlander/iMac/imacmultitouch1mit.jpg (http://www.italiamac.it/images/stories/Highlander/iMac/big/imacmultitouch1mit.png)

http://www.italiamac.it/images/stories/Highlander/iMac/imacmultitouch2mit.jpg (http://www.italiamac.it/images/stories/Highlander/iMac/big/imacmultitouch2mit.png)

http://www.italiamac.it/images/stories/Highlander/iMac/imacmultitouch3mit.jpg (http://www.italiamac.it/images/stories/Highlander/iMac/big/imacmultitouch3mit.png)

http://www.italiamac.it/images/stories/Highlander/iMac/imacmultitouch4mit.jpg (http://www.italiamac.it/images/stories/Highlander/iMac/big/imacmultitouch4mit.png)

FoxyKaye
Aug 3, 2007, 05:22 PM
Fingerworks...

Best
Acquisition
Ever!
A co-worker has an iGesture she bought right before Fingerworks was acquired by Apple - it totally rocks. I just bought the more diminutive SmartCat by Cirque/Adesso to help with some RSI issues I'm having. The SmartCats use Glidepoint, which predates multitouch, but has made "mousing" a dream. I totally think this is the way to go for computing - if Macs shipped with touchpads I'd be totally thrilled, and it would do wonders for alleviating some types of RSI. It's a bit of an adjustment to thinking about how to move things on screen, but a relatively easy one.

askripko
Aug 3, 2007, 06:43 PM
Nice photos zombitronic, i have see this device in Web yet, thanks for the tip.

barcodebawtv
Aug 3, 2007, 11:56 PM
http://www.italiamac.it/images/stories/Highlander/iMac/imacmultitouch1mit.jpg (http://www.italiamac.it/images/stories/Highlander/iMac/big/imacmultitouch1mit.png)

I don't know if I love it, but it is the most practical design so far. I personally believe that it needs an iMac G4 neck so it can be bent down to keyboard level and put back upright for regular typing

seenew
Aug 4, 2007, 04:28 AM
You know how old folks all seem to be techno-phobic fuddy duddies who don't understand anything more complicated than a TV remote? It's not that they're stupid. The world just moved faster than they could keep up.

Well, this is the begining of the end for us, my friend.

Yes, I agree that a mouse seems easier. But I bet my 5 month old daughter is going to know all these hand motions by the time she's 4.

Give it another 2 decades and she'll be flying space shuttles with her toes while you and I and all the rest of the 'mouse users' will be sleeping in boxes under the freeway overpass.

haha

:(

RichardI
Aug 4, 2007, 08:39 AM
This all looks way too complicated to me. Kind of like learning sign language. If I had a touch screen, I would want it to work like the "PAD" on Star Trek, where you work your way through a series of simple menu trees using single touch only. This system looks to me a "finger keyboard". I would be hoping for something much more simple, yet elegant and easy to use. To me, having to use and learn a bunch of "finger codes" defeats the purpose of a touch screen. I don't want to learn a new language to be able to use a "touch" screen. It seems really lame to me. Just my opinion , I guess.
Rich :cool:

rockosmodurnlif
Aug 5, 2007, 06:00 AM
My point was that using the word 'intuitive' isn't right here. If it were actually 'intuitive' then it wouldn't need to be explained or the explanation would be very common sense. A mouse is intuitive. The explanation is something like "moving this mouse attached to the computer moves this pointer on the screen. When the pointer on the screen is over something you want to interact with, click the button on the mouse". Even small children get that easily.

A set of gestures, although they can be learned and some may make more sense than others, are not 'intuitive'.

No the mouse is not intuitive. Sure the icon on the screen moves with it but nobody has any idea what do with it until they're told. Single click, Double click? Why no triple click? Left click, Right click? What if you click both at once? Drag and drop? Why not click and drop? Or double click and drop like with trackpads?

I didn't know what to do with a mouse until I was shown but it's so common, like driving a car or riding a bike, that we can't think back to the time before we knew how to do such things and how complex they seemed.

If these get applied to trackpads of mouses like the Mighty Mouse, then I can finally do more than click and right click. Copy text, move text, open expose (all three variations) perhaps set gestures to certain keyboard combinations. Sure there will be a learning curve but everything has a learning curve.

What's with all the Star Trek references? Star Trek is not the future. If this reminds me of anything it's Minority Report.

laertes
Aug 5, 2007, 08:24 AM
Companies have been doing this for a while. Here's one that has a patent and was rolled out in 2002/2003:
http://smarttech.com/dvit/index.asp

ppdix
Aug 5, 2007, 01:12 PM
I don't know if I love it, but it is the most practical design so far. I personally believe that it needs an iMac G4 neck so it can be bent down to keyboard level and put back upright for regular typing

It's perfect, they just need to make the screen 8" to make it worth it... to me. :p