Just a brief Intro.
I am a programmer, engineer, artist, musician, architect, chef, puppeteer, etc. Basically my entire life, work, pleasure flows through my hands. As such it's not surprising that I have battled RSI on and off for years. That is what got me to purchase the original touchstream...it was the only thing that was really different.
For a time, I was the envy of all my geek parties and it was also one of the best computer protectors as noone but me could really type that well on it, and very few could understand what all I was doing with the rapid fire of gestures that are still hardwired into my hand when I hit any sort of smartpad...which mostly doesn't understand well anything I sign to it.
After fingerworks went belly up, eventually my device started to grow erratic (my fingers had worn the pads smooth, so I had to cover it with teflex) and ribbon frayed,Plus the drift and the dumb angle of the two pads, plus the prolonged exposure of fingers hitting any surface, I had to get rid of it.
Oddly enough the keyboard of choice I have is a cheap "mini" keyboard that happens to have scissor action of notebooks with relatively low force but crisp feedback. But starting a few companies RSI flareup again to the point of incapacitation, seriously causing me worry about bills/career, forced me to look again into alternative keyboards again, funny enough after near 5 years there is nothing that has come anywhere near replaced the touchstream's approach. So I saw on ebay the old MacNTouch on ebay I jumped on it...if only for the right hand gestures I miss so much and an alternative. Seriously after getting used to a myriad of gestures in one hand a collection of dumb switches...seems so constraining.
I know it won't last forever, but I have hope that Apple or Android will give us a platform to recreate something as good if not better in the next few years.
Alternatively, when/If I have resources I will do it myself there are several options:
1) take the Arudino and Sense UI multitouch (about $400 for the SDK which was just released in Sept 2011), this would require a bit more programming and exposed wires to start than I'd like, but is only getting better.
http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2011/0 ... duino.html
2) Android 3.0 tablets support 10 finger multitouch which could be very cool. Sadly the devices are still 10" so a bit too small for a real keyboard and there aren't any plans for a 12" so I think the best that could be done is 2x 7" which requires way more software overhead in synch. Most Androids only have 2 point touch too (e.g. evo), some of these have relatively decent haptic feedback.
3) kinect. Lot of exciting stuff here. They are two slow for typing, but might be perfect for the ever tricky way to detect hand position/finger drift and proximity to the keyboard. The ability to understand which finger is down and proximity opens up a whole spectrum of gestures not possible in the touchstream way.