February 10, 2006

Two-hand touch

While working as a designer, I found that the bigger my monitor, the more greasy-fingered art directors inevitably wanted to touch it, to show that they wanted something put *right there*. Soon, however, touching a monitor may be less a party foul & far more useful. Check out this video demonstrating research into two-handed touch screen interfaces. Pretty ridiculously cool, eh?

It reminds me a bit of the Tactiva device shown last year. Plenty of hurdles (size, cost, hands blocking artwork, parallax interfering with small adjustments, greasy fingers, etc.) would need to be jumped to make these approaches mainstream, but it’s gotta happen, right? Just yesterday a 3D artist was talking to us about wanting to paint with one hand while using the other to dial exposure & intensity up and down in high-dynamic range images. It’s just too natural not to happen. And the sooner these devices move towards ubiquity, the sooner we can start taking advantage of them in Photoshop and other tools (requiring plenty of UI re-thinking & engineering, but potentially very worthwhile).
[Thanks to Colin Smith for the link.]

[Update: Similar approaches are being taken to fields as diverse as jazz and warfare. Thanks to Tom Attix for the links.]

Posted by John Nack at 11:39 AM on February 10, 2006

Comments

  • dr woohoo — 2:48 PM on February 10, 2006

    john, please introduce me to jeff. hehe. my tablet pc is ok, but i would much rather use that touch screen to paint with.
    woohoo!
    drew

  • mike smick — 8:11 PM on February 10, 2006

    Part of me feels like, when I first saw that, that Adobe should be involved in porting Photoshop to that hardware right now. This will fuel the desire to move to that platform. I don’t know about you, but I want to come home to a 52 inch touch screen, arrange my media windows, my letters, my bill paying mechanisms and my photoshop / other graphics or games together and get stuff done. After seeing that video, my world was turned upside down. My new computer seems oddly old technology now. This is a world changing technology. I can’t wait to pay for a demo in my city.

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