Touch Screen made easy

Last night I have wrote about upcoming Windows 7. One of the advertised features is multi-touch screen support. Nice.

Over past few years I have worked with various TabletPC/Touch screen devices and I like the concept in general.

TabletPC laptops today would cost you more compare to similar no-touch model. But there is an alternative you can get for 10 times less – converter kits. Somewhat bulky, they allow converting any monitor (LCD or CRT) into touch-enabled counterpart and only for about two hundreds dollars.

Of course there are some exceptions, like this HP Pavilion.

There is one I liked more so far – NaviMouse/NaviNote/EZ-canvas by NAVIsys – I like the last one. You can buy it here. And not to miss there is another one by MagicTouch – similar concept, more variety.

To say, all those alternatives are pen-based, or pen like touch style, meaning that you have one point of contact.

With Magic Wall we have seen earlier, limits are pushed forward, and one point of contact is no longer good enough. And from the snick-peek of Windows 7, this is a future direction of the touch screens for modern computers.

One of the focal points for that direction was a research by Jeff Han we already talked about from 2 years ago. Time flies fast. Jeff is now bringing his idea into life at Perceptive Pixel. But computer manufacturers are not to behind either: Microsoft (Surface), Apple (iPod, MacBook Pro), Dell Latitude XT (video), Lenovo X60/X61, … everybody seems to rush to get on board with the new thing.

I think there is something in this what appeal to human nature, might be a small child is still inside us, who wants to play, wants to feel things, and computers are moving toward this.

From the debut presentation of Windows 7:

They worked with the Surface team on the multi-touch stuff. Microsoft is re-thinking the whole user interface to better accommodate multi-touch for day to day use.

Swisher and Mossberg: So, what does this represent? Is this the next phase of the way people will do day to day work on their computers?
Gates: “We’re at an interesting junction… in the years to come, the roles of speech, vision, ink, all of those will become huge. I showed what an intelligent whiteboard would be like.”

Being familiar with TabletPC SDK for many years now, I am eager to see a new API for multi-touch.

Do you know some other places with information about multi-touch, especially on Windows, about computers with multi-touch support today, please post your comments here.

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