Saturday, October 4, 2008

Multi-Touch Interfaces From IDEO and Others

I recently came across a few posts on the IDEO Lab blog about multi-touch computing. I am a huge fan of touch computing. My experiences with these types of interfaces are limited to the iPhone, the SmartBoard from my wife's classroom, and random retail and public instalations that use Microsoft's Surface or other technologies.

I had never really thought much about the collaborative potential of large scale multi-touch interfaces. It seems obvious now, after reading about the IDEO Lab's experiments. Here is a great quote from one of their blog postings about the collaborative nature of multi-touch systems: "multi-touch, particularly on large displays, assumes multiple inputs at the same time. Multiple fingers, yes, or multiple hands from multiple people. In other words, it’s a system designed for “us” instead of for “me” — for collaboration instead of heads-down work."

Here are three videos that show the potential of multi-touch systems in action. The first video covers a talk from Jeff Han at TED in 2006. In this talk he introduces his Perceptive Pixel multi-touch display and makes the case for basing future computer interfaces on this type of technology. The second video documents a "Home-Brew" project from IDEO, check out this story about how they put this together. The third video shows a prototype from Perceptive Pixel.

Jeff Han's Talk at Ted

IDEO's Multi-Touch Project

Perceptive Pixel's Multi-Touch Project

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