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iPad will replace your keyboard?

Posted: 17 Apr 2010, 06:46
by routb
I sold my touch stream after fingerworks sold out and I have been waiting for the reincarnation ever since. I purchased the iPad and I know now that the wait is almost over. The app store already contains a number of keyboard / touchpad apps to communicate with macs and PCs. Some of the apps even support simple gestures. There are already custom keyboard apps for use with sketch-up and Photoshop. It's only a matter of time before someone decides to make a fully functional multitouch keyboard app. I hope that whoever develops this app has a firm understanding of the system that fingerworks developed.

If we pull together a section of links in this thread that easily show how GOOD multitouch has been and could be again, we may be able to attract a developer to emulate the touchstream for the iPad. Can you imagine a touchstream with a graphic response to your gestures? The keys may ripple like Fluid during a gesture.. Any thoughts?


Posted: 17 Apr 2010, 14:46
by The00Dustin
I have thoughts, they are a bit cynical, but don't take offense, my bitterness is certainly not aimed at you.

1) I couldn't care less if there is any grphical response, but I can pretty much guarantee you that a display isn't going to last anywhere near as long as the simple lexan touchpads we have enjoyed for so long have (and could continue to), plus it is glossy and therefor probably not as easy to glide on, so you would have to add and deal with something like 3M Vikuti screen protection sheets (which have a texture more like our keyboards, and are specifically made for devices where you write on the screen with a stylus, but work great for finger touch applications as well, in my experience), assuming these didn't disrupt the multitouch technology.
2) One would have to buy two iPads and the app would have to be customizable enough to make each iPad half of a dvorak layout for this to be the least bit interesting to me (ideally, it would allow for every gesture I have been using for so long, as otherwise I don't have anything but a toy to show off, and I don't even know if iPads would support palm and side of hand gestures at all, and seeing as how the two pads wouldn't communicate with one another, the chord functionality would either not exist or behave in undesired ways). Regardless, while the price of 2 iPads pretty much seems reasonable anymore bosed on what touchstreams go for on e-Bay, it doesn't seem so reasonable when you consider that their contsant use will probably wear them out in short order.
3) These two iPads will either be running on battery and connected via bluetooth, in which case you have a keyboard that has batteries that die at least once a week, maybe every two days, that also has connectivity issues, or they will be connected to the computer via USB and possible also connected to a separate power source, in which case you end up with at least two, maybe four separate cables to make everything work, what a mess. Moreover, who is to say you won't have other funky issues since there are technically two keyboards that don't communicate with each other).
4) I don't want tactile feedback, and I certainly don't want sound feedback, but having little bumps on the home row sure is useful, the iPad isn't going to have that since it is not a keyboard.
5) I'd simply much rather buy a device from a small third party company than pass any of my money on to the corporation that is Apple, who will buy patents just so someone else can't use them, and who will severely restrict the potential possibilities of any device they make through their licensing and software channels (think AT&T only iPhones that get bricked when you try to jailbreak them and otherwise don't allow apps not approved by [and therefore also funding] said corporation). If I buy a tablet sized device, I should be able to do whatever I want to it, and Apple shouldn't know jack about what I'm doing to it unless I feel like letting them.
6) Good luck leaving an iPad or two sitting on your desk, everyone will know they are worth money and they will disappear in the blink of an eye, just like even the cheapest iPods do. At least with the touchstream (or any other keyboard, regardless of price), no one realizes what they are worth (and in many cases, only those who own them even know how to use them), so there isn't a thriving black market.

Posted: 21 Apr 2010, 13:14
by ivanw
Wow, as the first post was an interesting sign of optimism about multitouch, the reply is a master piece of pragmatism.

I salute both of them, from a different perspective as being nice pieces of thinking...

But the second is so grasping reality that I'd better never have read it :?

Posted: 27 Jun 2010, 18:56
by Meesters
I don't really look at my touchstream while typing or gesturing so I do not know if it is really adding anything at all. It wil cool I gues but that is it. If there wil be an app wich can replace the touchstream it might stil be not as good as the touchstream. The iPad probably produces heat wich can make your fingers feel uncomfortable. That is my experience with touch screens (never used an iPad).

But if there will be an app that supports everything, is just as good as the touchtream and it won`t be to expansive. I would love to have one eh.. I mean two in the future.

Re: iPad will replace your keyboard?

Posted: 04 Nov 2010, 22:23
by routb
Still no bites on the fingerworks emulator. Im still holding out hope though. :D

Advancements in multitouch UIs are trickling in to the app store which is slowly becoming the tower of babble. I hope developers start to consider that this language of multitouch will eventually move off of surfaces and into thin air only to be tracked by cameras (MS Kinect) . If the language is developed carefully we will save ourselves a lot of confusion and contribute to the language of the future.. There should be some establishment that researches and publishes the best multitouch practices for the use of developers and users.

My 2 year old daughter pinches televisions.. :D


Re: iPad will replace your keyboard?

Posted: 07 Nov 2010, 16:40
by TorbenGB
routb wrote:My 2 year old daughter pinches televisions
That's hilarious! I can't even begin to imagine what our kids will be like, growing up in a world where multitouch and Internet is taken for granted. Do you remember the world without Google? What a strange place it was. I was traveling in another country recently, and I had brought my iPhone but didn't want to use mobile Internet because of the ridiculously high costs (€12 per MB) -- wow did I feel stranded!

I'm certain that Apple will release an "iType" multitouch keyboard eventually (that product name is my invention, though not copyrighted :wink: ). It will work pretty much like the MacNTouch except that it won't be nearly as customizable -- and won't work at all on anything that isn't a Mac :-( Considering that they've already released an iGesture ("Magic Trackpad", hah!) I think they will release the iType during 2011 with better versions to follow later on, like they did with iPhone.

I'm sure somebody will be hacking together a TouchStream from 2 iPads any day now, it's an obvious hack to do. But it won't be a mainstream thing, and it won't ever be as elegant in terms of usability and ergonomics as the TouchStream is.

I think that having a screen under the touch surface (à la iPad) won't be very useful in general. Keyboards aren't meant to be looked at, and their keys are only labeled to help those users who aren't "fluent" (e.g., non-touch-typists). It's very useful on mobile devices though, because you save precious surface space by overlaying screen and keyboard -- but if you have an iType-equipped MacBook then you wouldn't like to look down on your fingers, you'd keep looking at the screen.

Re: iPad will replace your keyboard?

Posted: 05 Jan 2011, 00:52
by routb
The App store is lighting up with gesture remotes.. NOTHING like a touch stream though.. 1234 finger swipes and such.. Still getting there though :)

Best I have found?

App called: Remotely Possible - These guys let you assign key strokes to a few gestures!

Its amazing to me to think that 10 Years ago there was a small company that invented devices and a gestural language that are more advanced than we will probably see for another 10 years.


Re: iPad will replace your keyboard?

Posted: 06 Jan 2011, 10:50
by TorbenGB
It becomes clearer with every press headline that Apple is bound to release a giant multitouch surface soon... and while they're at it, it would be hard not to put a few virtual keys on it. Then, later, the version 2 of that will have a complete keyboard, and the press will yell "Revolutionary! Fantastic! Why didn't anyone think of this before?" in unison. And we'll sit here with our smug smiles and enjoy devices that work on any platform, not just Apple ;-)