The Touch Enabled Interface You Thought You Knew May Soon Change



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Think of all the calories we engineers would burn!


Evil Don

The Enterprise in TNG (NCC-1701-D) was a Galaxy class ship, not a "D class" ship. "D" was just part of the serial number.



....are just the same animal with different stripes.  The only improvement I can forsee would be voice command....aka Scotties immortal line:  "oh how quaint, a keyboard.  Touch is just an ill thought temporary solution and would be better used for the keyboard mouse area than the screen....

Star Trek did use touch controls but for a control panel....NOT for an operationg system interface....go into any major power company and look at the actual control panels....they are very simplistic compared to an operating system.

If a simple job type...say Insurance agent....spent one 8 hour day using touch instead of keyboard/mouse....he wouldn't be able to read his screen for all the finger prints  etc.  Not to metion a whole new slew of carpal tunnel syndromes.

The solution is voice control...simple as that...touch is just a waste of money in between keyboard/mouse and voice  :/



Take an OS, and edit out all the efficiency, and what you have left is a post-XP Microsoft operating system :)



I'm sorry, but voice control is simply not as efficient as other types of input. Anyone who uses voice control knows how cumbersome it can be. There are some applications where voice control would work fine, selecting movies or music to listen to for example, but a mouse and keyboard work just fine for that also. But this article is about finding a new sort of interface, both more complex and efficient than the current mouse/keyboard, for performing the type of complex actions that are required today. Lets take the 3 current methods of input and relate them to a simple task that happens every day, resizing a window. With a mouse you click on a side or corner of the window and drag it to re-size it, fairly simple, but could be easier. With touch you would grab opposite sides or corners of a window and move your fingers to re-size, Easier, and quicker than the mouse, but probably a little less accurate. Then there is voice. I guess you would say something like "Re-size current window, four hundred by eight hundred." Both the mouse and touch person were done by the time you got to the word window and you haven't even defined a screen position. And thats just the simplest of tasks. The same holds true for the real world. I could come up to you and say "I am very angry with you." Hopefully you heard me and spoke the same language as I do. Or, I could just walk over and punch you in the face. Both methods would get my point across, but the second one would be much quicker, and I wouldn't have to worry about whether or not you understood me :P


As for the future of input devices, I envision a dual monitor solution. A large touch screen positioned vertically showing your workspace, and a smaller touch screen positioned on the desk where a keyboard would normally be. The smaller screen could mimic your larger screen, as well as have common macro buttons. You could manipulate data or objects from either screen but the primary source of input would come from the smaller screen. It would also allow your macro buttons to be infinitely configurable and change with the current program you are using. Finally, I don't think anything will ever officially supplant the keyboard. Even if using voice for entering text becomes the preferred method, in places like the office or public areas privacy will be a concern and a keyboard will always be preferred. I envision the second smaller screen sliding forward to reveal a full keyboard. I think with the application of coatings that are resistant to grease and oils the smaller touch screen will stay clean enough to be usable. You might need to wipe it down every so often, but most of your viewing will be done on the large screen, so smudges here and there wont matter because you wont be using the large screen for touch input very often.



im still waiting for my minority report interface.



  Apparently waving your hands in the air, to control your computer, is cool for a while ... the effect wears off after a few 8 hour work days ... it just gets tiring :)

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