There have been four posts so far on this blog about multi-touch interfaces: Jefferson Han’s work (along with the iPhone) here and here, Microsoft’s Surface, and Reactable. Why? Firstly, I love ’em. Secondly, I think they will soon become the norm as far as human-computer interfacing goes.
However, the first commercially available multi-touch interface must surely be the JazzMutant Lemur, released around October 2005. This is an audio-media specific control surface that is “able to track an unlimited number of fingers at once” according to their website. It’ll work with all the major DAWS, and will even interface with Flash. Its controller software includes a whole range of presets objects such as faders, rotary controllers, sliders, pads, scopes, switches, and various readout/LED options, and it will allow you to build almost anything:
There’s loads more info on the JazzMutant site: technical description, image galleries, and some strangely silent videos.
What a great piece of kit, and it’s a shame it’s marooned in the boondocks of the music technology industry. In fact, if I was a venture capitalist I would buy JazzMutant and get this thing out into the mainstream of the computing world now! First off, I’d invest in top-notch and heavy-duty presets for Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash…. Then Google Maps, iPhoto, etc., etc..