Where are the multi touch keyboards?

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Where are the multi touch keyboards?

Postby lee griggs » 27 Nov 2011, 10:51

With the success of touch tablet computing and phones, I thought I would have seen more of an attempt at introducing mainstream multi-touch technology to workstations by now? Is everyone just waiting for Apple to lead the way or are patents stopping its development? Maybe its the lack of tactile response that is impeding development or just that people don't like change? :)

Anyone got any thoughts on this?
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Re: Where are the multi touch keyboards?

Postby The00Dustin » 27 Nov 2011, 12:48

Personally, I think Apple and patents are working together to hinder innovation here. We keep seeing new patents from Apple, and they live 15 years from the date they are created. I'm pretty sure patents created fro technology that existed before the patent was applied for are bogus, but it is possible that the originators had applied for tho patents before releasing the technology and it takes that long to get a patent approved. Regardless, who is going to challenge the patents and (more specifically go up against Apple's lawyers) when multi-touch keyboards would probably always only be for geeks and RSI victims?
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Re: Where are the multi touch keyboards?

Postby jmadison » 29 Nov 2011, 17:31

"probably always only be for geeks and RSI victims"

That's the conclusion that I'm drawing. I'm both a geek and an RSI victim, and have been a TouchStream fan from the beginning. I keep watching technology and learning more about people in general and I've come to the conclusion that for most people, the cheapo keyboard and mouse that ships with their computer is good enough. I keep hoping that some of these exotic multi-touch devices will help change the status quo for traditional desktop use, but it seems that we've hit a threshold where it's good enough for the majority... so there isn't much of an impetus to improve things. Other geeks and RSI people will always be there, waiting and hoping with me, but we will probably remain a minority.

Re-reading my post I realized that it was way too depressing. One bright spot of hope that I've noticed is that smart phones and tablets have really opened people up to try new things. I've seen non-tech-savvy people working with strange gestures and virtual keyboards, and learning to pinch, swipe, and rotate things on screen. This may be the impetus that thought was missing. Once folks start to think "this is so much easier on my iPad... the mouse is cumbersome", then we'll probably start to see a demand for better desktop input devices. So yeah, there is a bright spot.
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Re: Where are the multi touch keyboards?

Postby TorbenGB » 29 Nov 2011, 21:03

I agree -- this was a special era, but didn't take off into mainstream markets. We should consider ourselves lucky while it lasted (or rather, while our devices still last). There will probably be multitouch devices also in the future, but not zero-force keyboards.

It's true that the lack of tactile feedback is a major problem to mainstream users. We fanatics only prevail because the coolness and/or RSI relief outweighs the lack of tactile feedback. But Joe Average will not make that tradeoff -- too few consumers will, and therefore true multitouch gesture-keyboards will remain a niche.
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