Friday, June 27, 2008

The Digital Home of 2013: Reach out and touch something

The future of multi-touch ...

"Touching is fun. It's really fun to touch gadgets, and navigate user interfaces using your fingers. And while you're walking through your digital home in 2013, you'll be doing a lot of touching all the time.

Some laptops already use biometric finger scans to access data or locked devices. But the real growth area is screen-based touch technology to navigate data, applications, and functions. Touch has quickly become an important frontier in the tech industry and there are no signs of it slowing down. And with the advent of the iPhone and Microsoft's Surface technology, more companies are jumping on board and doing all they can to create products that offer an intuitive experience without sacrificing usability.

The touchscreen market is split into two areas: single-touch and multi-touch. Generally speaking, single-touch technology only allows you to interact with the screen in one area at a time. Most commonly found in smartphones like the Palm Treo, it's unlikely that single touch will be the dominant touch technology in the digital home of 2013.

On the other hand (excuse the pun), multi-touch technology is quickly becoming the most popular touchscreen implementation on the market. Unlike single touch, multi-touch allows you to interact with multiple points on a device at the same time and offers much greater flexibility and usability. Multi-touch will sneak its way into your digital home before you know it.

According to Microsoft, its Surface product should be available to consumers by the end of the decade. Surface promises to let owners control their technology in a whole new way -- "grabbing" data with their hands and moving it between objects with natural gestures, instead of using of a keyboard and mouse. Although it has yet to prove its commercial viability, Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates have said that this type of functionality will be begin to appear in the next version of the company's operating system, Windows 7."    (Continued via The Industry Standard, Don Reisinger)    [Usability Resources]

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