The future of multitouch?

Discussion in 'Macworld San Francisco 2008' started by mr.dark, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. mr.dark macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2008
    Hi everybody- I´ve been reading macrumors with great interest for the last couple of days, and like everyone else I´m very exited. This is my first post, and english is not my native language so be nice ;)

    First off, I think the multitouch-concept is going to change the computermarket in a way we never thought possible. It may not be an instant hit, but in time, when software-developers start to see the potential of a multitouch-interface we will be AMAZED at what this technology is capable of.

    We know Apple has been developing multitouch for a while know, but we don`t see any products- except the iPhone. Although I really want a touch-tablet RIGHT NOW I think it`s important that they use enough time to develop the basic concepts and the "navigation gestures" in the most optimized way so that multitouch will be actually useful. Remember that multitouch is a fairly new concept and there has not been any "international standards" for what different gestures should do. Apple is probably the first company with a big enough usergroup to set some standards in how to interact with the userinterface. We already know how to zoom on the iPhone, but what will the "play" or the "save" gesture look like? Most importantly- how can they optimize these gestures in the best way? What if they released a quick "multitouch-gesture-alphabet" that wasn´t working optimally, and then would have to change the concept later on- making early adapters confused since they already learned the first concept.

    To make it popular (and useful), they have to show some useful concepts, not just zooming in and out of your iPhoto library. It´s like redesigning the shortcuts (or the layout of osx for that matter)- what "shortcuts" should we have and how should they be communicated to the touchscreen?

    I think that specialized software will work out their own gestures, but there should be used some time optimizing the basic "gesture-alphabet" so every gesture makes sence compared to each other- and so that specialized software-companies can build further on that same "alphabet"

    A really good market-strategy would be if Apple could release optimized versions of their professional range of software like Final Cut Pro and Logic at the same time as their multitouch-macs- Not only would they be able to show what multitouch can do- they would also sweep the software-competitors off the market in one "gesture", before the competition would be able to implement their own multitouch-concepts.

    If Apple want to eat a substantial market-share from Microsoft, they should also incorporate multi-touch in their whole productline, so that all software-developers would start implementing multitouch rapidly, because they know people will be able to use it. However- if they only release a multitouch-tablet (without a keyboard), this will be a niche-product which will use some time to build up a a serious usergroup, so that Microsoft will have time to copy everything Apple has done and put it into Vista.

    I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE Apple will be releasing a tablet WITH A KEYBOARD either on tuesday or later, so that people will be able to use both the power of the keyboard (shortcuts and tactile feedback) plus the advantages of multitouch. People are exited about trying something new, but they are also afraid of loosing the ability to use their old software, and their old "habits" of how to interact with the mac.

    I´d be happy to hear if any of you out there can think of applications specifically suited for multitouch. Personally I´m in the film-buisness, so I´m very interested in how sound, video-editing and 3D- programs will look like.

    Also if you can think of any cool gestures and what they can do(with more than one finger)- I´d be happy to hear about it :rolleyes:
  2. doo-hik-ee macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2006
    Thanks for this topic.

    I was actually going to start a thread about this myself.

    I am really intro the idea of an consumer multi-touch computer, especiialy after this video:

    The technology seems so useful and exciting.

    I agree with what you said about the gestures and the branding: they really do have to make it special. To show something beyond pinching and the liking, abut to show how practical (and fun) this new input method can be.

    I'm excited to see what happens, either at MacWorld or even farther down the road.

  3. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I think the lack of tactile feedback is going to hold back the adoption of multi-touch as the primary/sole input method on Macintosh desktops and portables - at least for the near-term.

    However, I would not be surprised to see something from Apple modeled on the Optimus Tactus or their other patents to be a BTO option on at least the desktop line and possibly the portables, as well in the near future.
  4. olternaut macrumors 6502a

    Dec 10, 2007
    *sigh* Google the latest apple patents concerning multitouch. :rolleyes:
  5. drwatz0n macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2008
    New York, USA
    I've got a guesture. The flick. Place your thumb sideways on the surface, then use your index finger and thumb to flick the item on the screen. Would make a fun game.

    Just make sure you cut your nails before doing so. Don't want to scratch that fancy screen :).
  6. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I am fully aware of the patents Apple has been filing regarding configurable and multi-touch based input devices. Why do you think I said "or their other patents"? :rolleyes:
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2006
    Great observations: this is a fact for sure.

    CNN started using multitouch on their newscasts as of January 2, 2008.

    It is amazing to watch how it is changing the news already.

    You will see multitouch everywhere in about 5 years. Everywhere. Home, Office, Airports, etc., on walls, in tables, etc.

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