Touch screens - the future of personal computing?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by mikethebigo, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    Okay guys, this thread is more for theoretical debate than anything else. I'm currently in my mid-20's, so I basically grew up during the personal computer revolution. As a kid I played with computers all the time as they were in my school and they were great for games. As a consequence, I feel extremely comfortable with computers and find them to be incredibly intuitive and easy to use.

    I think about the children just entering school now, and how they are now gaming on and playing with iPod touches, iPhones, and iPads. Kids love the touchscreen interface. In 15 years or so, when they are adults, do you think they will pretty much expect touch screens over a keyboard and mouse? I know they tactile keyboard is supposed to be more productive, but I should note that I've hit 73 words per minute on the iPad, and I didn't even grow up using it.

    I personally think the touchscreen interface is going to take over the physical mouse and keyboard. It's a more personal interface, and you can do a lot more with 10 inputs than with one pointer. I think it will become the de facto standard. Do you guys agree, or do you think tactile interfaces will always be preferred for most computing over the "gimmicky" touchscreen method?
  2. jmpnop macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    Touchscreen is good for a mobile device. It can never replace keyboard and mouse. When laptops came people started telling laptops are the future and desktops would go away. That didn't happen because there is REAL NEED for a desktops. Same thing here (and for tablets). They won't replace anything.
  3. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Sorry, no, totally disagree.

    Touch "Finger" based controls on screens is fine for some applications, and ideal for various uses where pushing a button, swiping, pulling, sliding type of controls are what's needed.

    For anything complex and/or where a fine degree of precision is required then a touch screen and fingers is a hopeless device, slow and awkward to use.

    For starters why would you want your hands on top of your display?
    And how can you select anything when you have a finger tip that covers many controls due to it's size?

    Of course, having such a tiny screen such as the iPad does is not helping.
    If, for example you had a 32" screen in front of you, then items on screen would be large enough for your finger size not to be such a problem.

    Games wise, again, some things are suitable and play better, Angry birds, World of goo. Other games (3D shooters etc) are terrible as you have no physical feedback, plus again, why would you want your hands over the display you are looking at.

    I've sure touch screens have a future, but at the moment, people are throwing everything at them, and only so much works. They have a use indeed, but they are not good at everything.

    No one thing is good at everything.

    That's why real world devices all have different types of controls.

    Tank, Plane, Helicopter, Car, Games controller, TV Remote etc etc.

    And an artist does not use the same brush to create a work of art that someone uses to paint a fence with.
  4. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Since we are playing the generational game I grew up with the first real home PC, the Commodore 64. Everything was done by command line. The concept of the mouse was still a couple years off. A fast modem was 300 baud. Multitasking wasn't even a concept. Programs were loaded one at a time via tape drive or truly floppy disk and took about 5-10 minutes to boot.

    I write this because a generation before me computers were driven by punch cards and large reel to reel drives. A generation after me the Mac was the prototype of the future. So, yes, I think 15-20 years from now the way we interact with computers will be different from today. Maybe touch, maybe something even more radical. That is what makes tech so exciting.
  5. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    That's funny..

    The 1st real home PC the Commodore 64 launched in 1982 whilst followed the Commodore Vic20 in 1980.

    I was sure I was playing games and writing programs on my Atari 800 in 1979

    And I guess I should mention the Apple II in 1977 also.

  6. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    When I say "real" I mean mainstream affordable that people actually bought.

    Regardless, the computers you list are all in the same era, and worked with similar i/o. My central point remains true.
  7. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    Awesome :). My family bought their first computer, a PCjr, the same year I was born: 1985. Same thing, everythng was done through DOS or BASIC, and most things loaded from cartridges. No mouse at all. No hard drive, either.

    I see many of the responses advocate for the mouse and keyboard. I understand what you guys are saying, it does seem more practical for a desktop machine to have a keyboard and mouse, but I still wonder...

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