Touch screens are nothing new. My first view was back in the early 1980s on an HP display. Tired arms was the result.
Is Apple’s iPhone multi-touch screen coming to a Mac in the not-so-distant future? It looks possible, except for one glaring issue.
If you saw the movie Minority Report you saw what some envision as the ultimate touch screen from science fiction minds.
In a way, Apple’s iPhone functions in a similar manner. On screen menus move with liquid fluidity not seen on consumer devices. Scrolling, zooming in and out, are all handled by various touch points on the screen.
The similarities between an iPhone’s screen and Minority Report are a stretch, to be sure, but certainly moving in that direction.
A small company called Perceptive Pixel is working on advanced versions of true multi-touch screen technology. Digging up information about their technology is a challenge, but the demo video unveils a world of future possibilities.
Is this the type of screen we can expect in a future version of the Mac? Will Apple develop additional multi-touch devices such as tablet Macs or iPods?
What about the patents? Apple has admitted that the iPhone is covered by dozens of patents, though details are slim as to how many patents may be involved in the multi-touch technology.
Clearly, on-screen, multi-touch tecnology is the future of some displays. I say some displays, because, as the video below shows, there is one single, glaring issue with multi-touch technology on larger screens.
My arms got tired just watching the demonstrators move menus and video around on the huge multi-touch displays. While great for kiosks, multi-touch could face physical hurdles at the desktop.
View the video below and consider the possibilities, perhaps not so much for a 30-inch or 50-inch display sitting on your desktop, as a tablet-sized device which controls on-screen functions streamed to a larger screen, such as a widescreen TV.
That would remove all the shoulder and arm motions and reduce them to flicks of the fingers and wrists. Click here for a direct link to the video below.
What do you think? Is this the future screen for a Mac or iPod-like device?