Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Touch Screens

There is a short little article in Time Magazine on the idea that iPhone is going to create a revolution by turning computers into touch screens, making the mouse obsolete.

Odd article since it starts out looking like it's going to be all about the iPhone then suddenly ends up being mostly about Microsoft's Milan. Which I really didn't mind since I'd never heard of it, looks very interesting. Think of basically a coffee table with a computer in it that you can operate with your fingers. One example was to place your cell phone with a digital camera in it on the table and all the pictures you've taken suddenly show up on the screen and can be passed around to people sitting around the table, that would be cool. Makes me think of Tom Cruise in Minority Report.

But I wonder how great an idea this really is, after all, touch screens have been around for 30 years and haven't caught on at all, except maybe in bars. Seems far more appropriate for the iPhone, excellent for something small and hand held but imagine having to move your arm across a coffee table to use your computer, you'd get tired fast. And you'd have to be really paranoid about anything messing up the screen, which I would think is a problem for the iPhone as well. I'm a big Palm fan but you can't use one without putting a screen guard on it or the screen gets worn out really fast.

But I'm always a contrarian, I don't use a mouse I use a Wacom tablet like any good artist should. What I want is an iPhone but with a 21" screen and only a little thicker, that has a color Wacom tablet across the front and a complete Mac inside and you have to use a pen, not your finger. Wacom does make a 21" tablet with a color LCD screen but it costs $1,800 and you still have a buy a Mac to plug it into, too expensive and not mobile enough. Someday they will have it, but not yet.

1 comment:

Village Green said...

I wouldn't want the touch screens in my classroom -- think of all those germs!