March 15, 2007

Multi-touch photo editing demo

I don’t have much context for this video, but I’m passing it along as it’s an interesting demo of image editing using a multi-touch screen.  The pie menus look useful (is that a Healing Brush icon I see?), though to compete against a keyboard and mouse, I think it would need to be much faster and more fluid.

Sidenote: I like imagining that the choice of bloopy, electro-spacey music may not just be a video editing choice, and that it’s actually emitted by the multi-touch monitors themselves (see also the Jeff Han origin of the genre).  "Hey man, cool screen, but why does it keep playing the pseudo-Moby?"

Posted by John Nack at 10:53 AM on March 15, 2007


  • eric dolecki — 11:19 AM on March 15, 2007

    I call fake. look around 3:22 or there abouts where he moves his hand back and forth. the UI is moving before his hand does… looks like its a movie that someone tried to rehearse the timing to to make it look real. Unless this only a show of concept and not working stuff.
    [I’m guessing it’s the latter, but it would be good to learn more. –J.]

  • Jennifer Apple — 11:56 AM on March 15, 2007

    Wow! From Wired March 2007 (page 38)
    Expired: KEYPAD

  • Alex — 11:57 AM on March 15, 2007

    The idea is cool as you say, but not really useful unless it could be done in 3D like in that movie with the virtual computer. I don’t see it otherwise as more than a toy.
    [It’s all in the execution. A multi-touch UI is a pretty generic concept, just like a mouse-driven one is, and in both cases the range of possible experiences spans great to crummy. –J.]

  • Matt Taylor — 12:44 PM on March 15, 2007

    That looks like it is faked to me. I remember seeing Jeff Han’s multi-touch videos, and they were very fluid. You could tell the screen was reacting to him. In this video, the screen is sometimes a bit off of the user’s actions. Like it was recorded before that the user practiced getting his actions in sync with it.

  • dimitre — 12:51 PM on March 15, 2007

    ha, nice observation about the background music.
    not exactly related:
    fontographer used to have a beautiful “click” or “knock” sound when object snap to guide. a very interesting feedback response

  • SamHS — 5:32 AM on March 16, 2007

    Definately fake – the rehersed movements are noticably “out”. John; something about your web template breaks after posting comments – the header gets compressed vertically.
    [Yeah, one of the admins fooled around with my template, and I just haven’t had time to figure out how to fix the header. CSS & DIV tags, such joy… –J.]

  • running — 8:57 AM on March 17, 2007

    Ha! Possible mind flood: Multi Touch – iPhone – Apple – some crazy rumors – next Macs will have multi touch screen built in!
    Ok, maybe not :))

  • uberfu — 1:55 PM on March 20, 2007

    I didn’t look close enough to check whether or not it looked rehearsed or whatnot – but I did notice a severe delay with most everything that was being done_
    Aside from the fakery – as for Han and others like him – their concepts becoming a reality – I’m all in favor of_
    I’ve seen Windows Users get on a Mac and stumble like they were a 2 year old_
    That would be a matter of getting used to a new interface and gaining speed as one uses it for long periods of time_
    I can’t say how well some of it would be for other industries – but for Desktop Publishing goes – it would get us back to the days of Light Tables and Full sized spreads without the hassle of having a 10inch stack of paper to file thru_
    It would allow for a digital hands on approach_ The keybaord and mouse as we know it have had their time and place and the computer is ready for a new direction_
    Yet for those that prefer a keyboard – it could be a finger tap away [like in Han’s demo] and the screen would change to accommodate_
    I would love to have a screen with these capabilities and a re-engingeered version of Photoshop and InDesign to fit around this type of interface – whether a default or completely customizeable_ And adding in something like a light pen with hand-writing / character recognition that automatically converts to typed text on the fly based on Stytles or preset defaults or whatever_
    I’d be the first in line to buy the package deal_
    All I can say is embrace the change_ This type thing on the horizon is akin to the GUI and the Micro-computer revolutionizing the industry 20 years ago_

  • HerrMetik — 10:36 AM on March 27, 2007

    Well, since the video was done by some German university students and I just assume that most of you do not speak German, I’ll try to enlighten you. Apparently, this is a kind of concept work for a media class. Therefore, it is quite plausible that we are indeed shown a pre-fabricated animation with a human executing gestures as if he was interacting with an interface. Or, it may just be a crude prototype of a programme which is not as elegantly coded as the ones Jeff Han has demonstrated.
    [Gotcha; thanks for the info. –J.]
    Nevertheless, these speculations are totally unrelated to the idea of this videoclip: That image editing on a PC might considerably change due to this new technology, and this is a vision how aplications might be used.
    [Agreed. –J.]

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