What Apple can do following the iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by yyy, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. yyy macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2007
    I've never been a big fan of the tablet form-factor since to me it seems like a very limited way of using computers. However, I'm a big supporter of multi-touch and I believe it is definitely how most people are going to use their computers in the future.

    So that got me thinking: can we leverage the benefits of multi-touch on a laptop form-factor which runs Mac OS X? Eventually I came up with the idea of a MacBook with 2 overlapping touch screens so that you get a huge screen space, double the original size, in a device not bigger than an ordinary MacBook.

    Here's a very rough illustration of how it may look like. Obviously it doesn't look real but you can get the idea:


    Notice how the iPad apps look great in a multi-tasking environment and how Dashboard Widgets are prefect for a multi-touch user interface. It allows users to easily move apps between both screens so they keep their hands on the bottom screen most of the time while being able to look straight forward to the parallel screen while watching movies or typing.

    I'm sure Apple can develop a great MacBook with full multi-touch support which would greatly enhance the user experience. What do you think?
  2. herodotus macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2009
    I could see the Microsoft Courier being used very much like this.
  3. bobob macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2008
    The overlapping screens are going to be an engineering/design challenge.
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The issue with these types of designs, much like the microsoft courier is the gap/margin in the middle. It affects the whole experience and given apple's rapid dedication to user experience I don't think we'll see anything like this. Either with two displays or using the plyable display that will not handle the demands neeed.
  6. Bytor65 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2010
    MSI has a prototype like this.

    I am not enamored with any two screen design.

    Greater weight.
    Greater price.
    Greater complexity.

    Actually more cumbersome to use as a reader.

    To me, this is one of those ideas that look cool at first glance, but aren't all that great when you factor in everything.
  7. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Umm - the OP didn't say anything about this being used for eReading or for it to be the iPad 2.0 design.

    Like the iPad is "different"- I believe his mock up is a new product altogether.

    And I don't think the screens actually are the same/bend in the middle. I think it's just a quick mock up to show dual screens.

    All of your "objections" here could apply to the iPad vs the Touch, no?

  8. G4R2 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2006
    I'm actually fond of this design and have favored this since the iPhone was released and since the Optimus Maximus OLED keyboard was announced (that product doesn't really make much sense to me). The question is how to get the advantages of multi-touch in a laptop or desktop configuration. It's very appealing to have a multi-touch surface take over the keyboard that changes depending upon context.

    However, I do believe there are a few obstacles to this approach.

    First, the laptop form factor is much better suited for text intensive data entry then a tablet. A touchscreen may, arguably, diminish that advantage. I'm not sure to what degree user training on a touchscreen keyboard may improve the experience, but tactile feedback from discrete keys does seem to be an important element when it comes to efficient typing.

    Secondly, multi-touch may not be the best way to go for desktop or laptop computers as an improvement to the UI experience. It's not necessarily ergonomic, especially for the desktop, it's not backward compatible, it requires more expensive hardware, and it will require new and unproven software modifications to the OS and to existing programs.

    One technology that Apple has been exploring, even before Project Natal on the X-Box was announced, and which I think may be more appealing is motion gesture recognition. Unlike a multi-touch display or input device, motion gesture recognition would not require any new hardware and could just leverage the existing built-in iSights. It would also be backward compatible and would not detract from the advantages of having a physical keyboard for data entry. Properly done, it could perform most of the functions of multi-touch without having the user ever touch the display. It's a technology I'm hoping to see if not in a future version of OS X then through a third party.
  9. Bytor65 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2010
    A continuous screen bending in the middle is and folding completely in half is science fiction. There will always be a bulge as it will never completely straighten out, as well the screen would have a short time till failure folding along a sharp crease. The only realistic way to do this is two separate screens.

    Many criticisms apply whether you compare to a table or a laptop. The dual screens add costs and will be more awkward to use.
  10. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    I think the "future" is virtual/projected screens or at least one projected, one actual screen. But I think we're many years away for that
  11. jonesboy macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2010
    I think this guy has a better idea. Here

    I don't like all of his ideas, but i would love to see something like the for the next osx upgrade.
  12. Bytor65 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2010
    I agree, that is fairly decent. I would be game to try something like that for desktop control. I had already considered touch-screen on a desktop largely a novelty for the stated reasons.

    Though I do see issues in how big you can make the touch area, and reach to the keyboard and simultaneous touch and keyboard (which is relatively easy with a mouse. Maybe touch areas on the sides of the keyboard as well as below.
  13. thejakill macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2005
    What a clunky mess this would be. Really unnatural, too.

    You'd always have to be looking down at the keyboard since you wouldn't have any physical cues as to where your fingers were. A regular laptop would be better. They can just use the multitouch like they do now with the MacBook.
  14. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City
    Unless it lays out flat and locks into a single tablet form, the bottom is nothing more than a stand. Awkward viewing angle, awkward angle to touch, you would be constantly adjusting one side or the other to make it comfortable... clearly why Apple chose the single Tablet. Future MBP where the bottom is a touch pad on a flush surface... maybe, but until virtual keyboards are as easy to use as physical ones don't see this form factor showing up with an Apple logo anytime soon.

    Not to mention Apple track record with thin devices that have hinges...
  15. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
  16. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I think they should do an iPad mini. Bigger than an iTouch, smaller than an iPad. Like the pads they use in Star Trek Next Generation.
  17. Bytor65 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2010
    There should be multiple sizes. If the Touch had been 5", (Archos 5 size) I would have one by now. At 5" you can still put it in a jacket pocket, but you get a nice boost in screen size.

    I started a poll about different sizes a few days back, though most people wanted 12" or larger model.
  18. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    The problem with this design is simply the keyboard. The iPad is media centric and small enough to warrant not having a keyboard. Most of the time with a tablet you will be holding it with one hand. A clamshell device is better suited for text entry because it nearly always must be used while sitting on a flat surface.

    If there was some technology that let you 'feel' the virtual keys somehow this could work well, but without that its use would be limited.
  19. thejakill macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2005
    Maybe we should all just enjoy the one they are actually making. It seems pretty cool.
  20. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    You can have a projected screen for a desktop already.
    Heck, Andy Wilson from the Microsoft Research lab can be seen working on a similar sort of setup here and there are lots of alternative holoscreens around.

    Might not be mainstream, bit its there
  21. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hehe, nice! You could also push it down flat to make it like a bigger iPad:D They'd still have to make normal MacBooks too, because I'm not doing tons of typing on something like that:eek:
  22. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    Yeah just watch the tv show leverage where they have six large screens that are separated, and it is annoying when they place a single image up on the display because the break lines really are affecting in terms of you seeing what is on the screen.

    I use two monitors on my desk all the time, but I treat them as essentially two different entities. Sure they are one continuous screen, but I could never effectively use them by having images go from one screen to the other.

    I am guessing that is what you would end up with that kind of split screen as well. Some sort of separation of information, which would make it significantly less useful as a large screen display.

    IE you could run a video on the top and be doing web browsing on the bottom, but running a video top and bottom would not work well.
  23. [DL] macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2010
    ...how are they going to make the screen like that? >_>
  24. mac88 macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2008
    Boston, MA.
    Not a bad idea. You would have to support the middle of the screen (where it folds) for damage. Would be a nice ebook reader though.
  25. 4DThinker macrumors 68020

    Mar 15, 2008
    I'll skip the two-screen models and wait for the iPad Scroll. You roll out only as much screen as you need for a task. You can flip it over to have a whole different desktop/home page on the back side. The flexible OLED screen stays protected in it's tube when not used. Future versions will be sold as window (not Windows) shades. ;)

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