“What’s so great about the mouse, anyway?,” New York Times technology columnist David Pogue asked two years ago. “How is it natural to drag a plastic box across a horizontal surface to move things on a vertical screen two feet away? How kludgy! How indirect! How Cro-Magnon!,” he declared.
Unfortunately for Pogue, the touchscreen PCs he reviewed in that piece were clunky and lumbering. But a lot has changed since then, and today’s multi-touch technologies have gotten leaner and faster.
The mice are getting scared.
Indeed, using a mouse to do your computing may eventually be a thing of the past. In the meantime, multi-touch interactive displays are fast emerging as viable alternatives on multiple platforms. As with all advancements, as the technology advances, the prices lowers and the previous methods seem increasingly limited.
As Microsoft Principal Researcher Bill Buxton notes in a recent essay on multi-touch technology, “if you can only manipulate one point… you are restricted to the gestural vocabulary of a fruit fly. We were given multiple limbs for a reason. It is nice to be able to take advantage of them.”
Multi-touch technologies have been evolving for decades, but they really hit the mainstream