This paper presents answers from Bill Buxton to some general questions that people asked him. Further, it goes into the history of multi-touch systems dating back to the early 1980’s. A lot of interested parties asked Bill Buxton questions about multi-touch since he has been involved in the topic for a number of years.
Chronology of Systems
There were many interactive devices listed in this paper that were multi-touch systems, but not a standard flat screen device that most people think of when they hear “multi-touch”. One good example is the electroacoustic music device they listed. It was not well implemented, but a device could be created where the input affords the sounds better than a standard keyboard.
Physical vs. Virtual
Bill Buxton was discussing that the virtual devices may not be ideal compared to real physical devices. This is definitely a con when thinking in terms of a flat multi-touch screen. For example, if a user was to play a race car game, a real physical steering wheel, like they have on the Wii would probably be superior than a virtual steering wheel on the flat screen. Another example is an MP3 player that can be paused or volume changed with one hand while the device is still in a pocket. A pure touch screen would prevent such a thing. A pure touch screen MP3 player may cause some problems for someone at the gym versus them having one with physical controls that they can interact with one hand while the device is strapped to their arm.
- Physical vs Virtual
- Something more than just visual feedback
- “Everything is best for something, but worst for something else”
- A screen that can move up & down so that the screen was not flat
- could get feedback with your eyes closed.