Multi-Touch Display Walls

Posted by PH on May 27, 2008
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Multi-touch interfaces have been one of the themes of this blog over the past 18 months or so. In fact, they’re becoming so commonplace it soon won’t be worth my mentioning them any more. However, before that day finally arrives, here’s a quick look at some recent developments.

Within the last couple of weeks Microsoft have shown their Touch Wall. Here’s Bill Gates driving it:

And here it is being demo’d by Microserf Ian Sands, with a good deal more technical detail included towards the end:

Well in theory it’s a great idea, right? (I’d love one to teach with, for example.) But you’d have to ask how viable a system this is at the moment, especially when Sands admits that you can’t even edit a Word document on it! It also looks slow, glitchy, and just plain clunky. Notice how the slides don’t sort properly when Bill Gates gestures them aside—sometimes one doesn’t go at all, and then two jump the next time—and note the problems Sands has in selecting the right mode in the toolbar. “The calibration is a little off,” he says. Yes, quite.

Compare the Microsoft Touch Wall with the fluidity and sophistication of Jeff Han’s Perceptive Pixel products:

Well I know which one I’d buy….

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