There is a lot of random talk about multi-touch out right now due to Apple’s recent “leak” about their possible tablet. Talking to a few Apple fans I came to a realization: they had no idea that multi-touch was out right now. Absolutely clueless that Windows 7 supports MT (multi-touch) and that there is a very large array of hardware that you can purchase to take advantage of it. I was actually a little amazed, but not because of the simple fact they didn’t know about it. I was amazed because they seemed so versed in the subject, but had not even done a simple Google Search to look around.
MT has been around quite a long time. Bill Buxton’s very thorough page written on the subject gives a great history and is far better than I would want to replicate here. I will quote a great line from it though, as it definitely deserves it.
Multi-touch technologies have a long history. To put it in perspective, the original work undertaken by my team was done in 1984, the same year that the first Macintosh computer was released, and we were not the first. Furthermore, during the development of the iPhone, Apple was very much aware of the history of multi-touch, dating at least back to 1982, and the use of the pinch gesture, dating back to 1983. – http://www.billbuxton.com/multitouchOverview.html
I highly recommend reading through his page.
I have tested, played with, and tortured just about every multi-touch piece of hardware out there and I can tell you that there are some stellar pieces of equipment floating around. The Touchsmart’s are very nice. I currently use one of those as well as a few other devices.
Here is the Official Touchsmart Page as well as some nice movies showcasing the technology and features.
Remember to install the Windows 7 Touch pack if you get one to really see some of the great things that you can do using ….. both hands, or one hand, or whatever!
The Windows 7 Touch Pack includes:
- Microsoft Surface Globe
- Microsoft Surface Collage
- Microsoft Surface Lagoon
- Microsoft Blackboard
- Microsoft Rebound
- Microsoft Garden Pond
If anyone has any user experience feedback about these products, feel free to drop me a line.