Mutitouch Gestures

“I’m not against touchscreens as a rule, that is, except when they’re mounted vertically in front of me, ready to get covered in fingerprints, make my arms ache, or wobble about when I prod them.” DigitalTrends

I don’t want to touch the screen of my PC or laptop either but I am very into multi-touch gestures controlling my devices and computers. The iPad has brought it to the forefront in my mind how efficient it is and how intuitive it can be.

I started to wean myself of the mouse during last year and I am now mouse free. This has been a painful process at first but now comes natural especially crossing all the different devices.

Find the different tap, swipe, pinch and scroll gestures on a Mac here. I haven’t used a Windows 8 touchscreen version “in anger” but I assume it functions very similar.

Of the three screens I only want to touch the tablet/phone – PC, laptop and TV are off limits. For the PC and laptop I want multi-touch control using a touch pad, which brings me to the question of how one wants to control the TV.

Kinetic I assume could be an alternative to TV’s with touch control, but I have a hard time to see folks gesturing in the air in order to change channels or adjust sound.

My preferred solution would be to use my tablet to control the TV, one reason I am waiting for the much-ballyhooed Apple TV, to see if they can get the human user interface right.

On a note aside it is actually very difficult to integrate touch (as of touching the screen) into a programming world that has been mouse driven – the distinction between hovering over something (mouseover event) compared to actually clicking on something (mousedown plus mouseup event) does not exist on tablets/phone.

I.e. having a pointer is a key part of the PC user experience design and does not translate onto touch devices. This was one reason for the spat between Apple and Adobe about the migration of Flash content to Apple devices – the content simply would have not worked and performed and this would have reflected badly on Apple’s devices.

Adobe Flash apps that are developed for mobile using multi-touch are fine as the ongoing development of Flash mobile games have proven. However the lack of migration from web to Apple’s devices has undermined Adobe’s developer ecosystem. It will be interesting to watch how this transition will pan out for Windows’ developer ecosystem.