Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Multi-Touch Revolution

What this video and think about interfaces.

The revolution that the iPhone introduces is not about features and, to a degree, Leopard as well, is around how we interact with information. This is arguer of the coming revolution in IT/internet. The services that win will be the ones that provide the most effective interaction for the user with masses of information.

Remember we are in an age of information. Getting information is not a problem. The problem lies with how we interact with information. How can I, as a user, interact with the information in a way that makes me most effective in achieving my aims, whether it is finding something or manipulating the information.

The multi-touch screen is going to be a huge part of this revolution. Multi-touch opens the door to truly effective manipulation and navigation through complex information environments. That is not to say that the keyboard will die. The keyboard still remains a very effective input device for certain tasks (i.e. word processing). But for other tasks, touch is the way to go. Multi-touch will have more effect on mouse usage as it can directly replace most if not all mouse input functions.

The companies that succeed in this new environment will be ones that make the new input devices and the ones that create software programs or services that most effectively utilise the power of multi-touch. As a thought experiment imagine Google Earth on a large multi-touch screen or Microsoft's Sea Dragon/PhotoSynth combination.

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