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Apr 12, 2001
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DailyTechRag.com mixes some creative speculation with comments from Synaptics.

Synaptics first gained recognition for supplying the click-wheels for Apple's earlier iPods. More recently, they made headlines with a concept phone called Onyx which demonstrated a technology called "ClearPad" -- "a thin, high resolution capactitive touch screen that can be placed over any viewable surface."

Synaptics became the obvious source of the impressive touch-screen technology that was demoed on the iPhone, but Synaptics hasn't said one way or another if they are working with Apple. Regardless, there's growing industry interest in this multitouch / capacitance-based technology.

There has been speculation that Apple may adopt this touch-technology more broadly across their Mac platform. Synaptics' Clark Foy doubts that full screen touch sensitive displays are coming soon, for both cost and practical issues:

"I think that to make the entire display touch sensitive will be very expensive. You're talking about altering the whole user paradigm of having your hands down on some user input device and looking at the screen."
...
"You might want to do that a few times but you don't want to sit there and do it for 25, 30 minutes at a time".

Instead, Foy suggests that perhaps "simple onscreen controls that show up on the edge of the display" may be a more feasible direction and that Synaptics was already working on that sort of technology.

DailyTechRag suggests that Apple could take advantage of this sort of technology for a touch-sensitive dock, but it remains purely speculative. However, interest in this technology is clear, and with increasing availability, we could certainly see this integrated into future computers/displays.
 

DMann

macrumors 601
Jan 13, 2002
4,001
0
10023
cool thought

The idea is great, but your arms would fatigue rather quickly..... the mouse still seems to remain the ideal input device.
 

steve_hill4

macrumors 68000
May 15, 2005
1,856
0
NG9, England
The idea is great, but your arms would fatigue rather quickly..... the mouse still seems to remain the ideal input device.

I would largely agree, but for certain tasks, tablets and touch screens would be much more productive. Continuous usage is not good, but for working with photos and such, it is inevitable.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,911
2,502
Pennsylvania
My friend has a touch screen monitor, and it's nice, but it does make my arm tired rather quickly... and I wished that it had a right-click (but this was XP too)
 

Tadros86

macrumors 6502
Jan 29, 2007
340
0
New Jersey
The dock

That'd be really cool for the dock to appear with your fingers as an option, instead of it just popping up whenever you are trying to do something and accidentally hit it. :p
 

FJ218700

macrumors 68000
Mar 8, 2007
1,740
0
Blue Dot, Red State
I think a compromise would be to have the whole screen touch sensitive but also give the user an optional touch-sensitive trackpad (kind of like mirrored monitors) with a trackball at the top also.
 

hyperpasta

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2005
680
0
New Jersey
What makes sense to me is replacing or supplementing the keyboard with a multitouch tablet. In iTunes, buttons for controlling music playback would appear. In Photoshop, tool icons would appear. But if I'm working on my computer for extended periods of time, I don't want to keep my hands raised, reaching out towards the screen.

Note: Another thing that would work would be having the computer be facing up like a sheet of paper on a desk.
 

pacohaas

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2006
516
3
how about just a touch mousepad instead of a mouse (think large trackpad).

edit: ok, quick google shoes that those do exists, but apple should steal the idea and make it better, a-la ipod
 

zelmo

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2004
5,490
1
Mac since 7.5
Who says it has to be the display?
Why not have the touch surface be where the keyboard is on your laptop, so you could have a touchscreen QWERTY, then change to a touchscreen mixer or some other interface. Anyone recall those patents Apple applied for?
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
A mouse does a great job, more quickly and MUCH less tiringly than lifting your arm up to the screen (or even the screen edge).

A mouse is also MUCH cheaper than a desktop-size touchscreen, and dodges a huge durability issue. Not to mention a smudge issue, which is tolerable on a handheld but not on a desktop you use for a whole day (and which never goes in a case or pocket to wipe itself clean).

Cool to think about, but it shouldn't come to market and it won't, outside of specialized purposes (and we already have touchscreens for those).

The evolution of touch interfaces--and especially Apple's multitouch--IS a big deal... for SMALL devices. (Trackpads included: we've seen Apple trackpads do more and more, and Apple has had cool patents for years on touch areas that cover the whole palmrest.)
 

Maccus Aurelius

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2006
542
0
Brooklyn, NY
Oh how I would love a multitouch display pad that would work similarly to a Wacom, but without the single point input properties of the Cintique. I do lots of stuff with Wacoms, but it's just not the same when I have to coordinate the pen with the pointer on the screen. This orientation issue is part of the reason why I get thrown back to the paper. I currently have ArtRage that I love to mess around with, and something like this would quite simply make my millenium.
 

richard4339

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2006
884
98
Illinois
I would think a touch-sensitive area on the keyboard would be more useful, and could have interesting uses. We've already seen LED keyboards, it could be used in that sense too.
 

the vj

macrumors 6502a
Nov 23, 2006
654
0
I have a touchscreen

Actually a 30" Apple Cinema Screen.

It is very very nice and usefull.... when it works. I bought my screen a year ago and sent it to a company call "TrollTouch", they add touchscreen to anything, even powerbooks.

As I work in live shows I need to access to my clips very fast, ther is not even time to grab the mouse sometimes. Literally the control of my software in my finguertips.

The problem is that the screen stoped working and the people at Troll Touch just didn't reply any of my emails and they blocked my phone number.

I searched for the actual manofacturer and I got in touch with Touch Base systems in the UK. They told me they no longuer work with Troll Touch for the same reasons but they only create the software while Troll Touch create the hardware.

At the end, I ended up with a $5000 Apple Cinema Screen that doesn't work.

A friend of mine got two 20" iMacs as well from the same vendor and they still working just fine after a year even it seems like one of the touchscreen are loosing the touch capabilities.

Any way, here is a picture of my set up. The Touch Screen, the computer and a wireless keyboard and mouse if needed.

Again, the actual problem with a touch screen would be their duration. The same thing is going to happen with the iPhones, after a year they will give you problems because the surface will loose sensitivity.
 

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koobcamuk

macrumors 68040
Oct 23, 2006
3,195
9
Note: Another thing that would work would be having the computer be facing up like a sheet of paper on a desk.

that would kill your neck!

Technology will progress - we won't use a mouse forever, but I wonder where will will go... :rolleyes:
 

Mac Fly (film)

macrumors 68000
Feb 12, 2006
1,887
5,405
Ireland
I really think a Multi-touch keyboard is the way forward.

Here's a thread I started on AI a while back. Furthermore, the keyboard display could change to suit each application that's selected.
 

phillipjfry

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2006
847
1
Peace in Plainfield
Why does it have to be touch screen monitor? why not touch-enabled keyboard/mouse?
Maybe they can get rid of the annoying clicky click of the keyboard, with a flat pad on your table that is pressure/touch sensitive. Or a mighty mouse that is touch/pressure sensitive. Without moving parts, there is less of a chance to need replacement :)
no dirt or grime in the mouse "nipple"
same with keyboard and mouse :)

After reading above, I figured that I wasn't the only one thinking "non-monitor touchscreen"
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Given the speed benefits of tactile touch-typing, and the historical failure of newer and better non-QWERTY layouts to catch on with the mainstream, I don't think touch-based keyboards are the future.

I wouldn't say no to a multitouch "display trackpad" accompanying my laptop and desktop keyboards though :)
 

Tirgaya

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2007
3
0
Everyone here is missing the point

This technology will replace your keyboard, mouse, monitor AND your desk.

Think of the consoles on Star Trek. You woun't be any more tired using this than you are now, because it will BE your keyboard and mouse.

Take a look at how its used in this demo:
Jeff Han Ted Talk (zipped mp4 file, plays in QT )

That, is a revolution in how you interact with your computer. Its just a few engineering questions: cost and reliability mostly. This thing has to last as long as a good monitor, and should be priced not much higher than a monitor keyboard, mouse and tablet. A 30" should be priced about $2400 if it uses LCD or LED technology, if it uses a rear projector like the Jeff Han demo unit then it should cost significantly less, no more than half.
 

Tirgaya

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2007
3
0
Given the speed benefits of tactile touch-typing, and the historical failure of newer and better non-QWERTY layouts to catch on with the mainstream, I don't think touch-based keyboards are the future.

I wouldn't say no to a multitouch "display trackpad" accompanying my laptop and desktop keyboards though :)

Touch typing eh? I expect that a virtual keyboard will be included.

Of course I also expect that people will stop interacting with their computers that way.

I suggest that people will use handwriting recognition technologies.

That's how I wrote this at any rate. I've had to work on my penmanship, I've always been a chicken scratch kind of guy, but it works very well.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Don't get me wrong, it's very cool to THINK about using computers through touchscreens alone.

But a virtual keyboard does not permit touch typing, and writing by hand takes longer than a fast typer--not to mention, writing all day can be very damaging and painful, worse then typing.
 
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