Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chapter 1, Part One Take Aways

The Point & Do Perspective

Suddenly, after 25 years in the shadows, multitouch is being towted as the next big thing. Don’t get me wrong, I think that gestural computing is super cool, but there’s another reason the computer industry has turned its PR spotlight our way.

Computer hardware manufacturers and software publishers are having some serious problems that a multi-touch revolution would get them out of:

Hardware Problems
1. Competition squeezed the margin out of all but the highest end desktops a number of years ago.
2. Notebooks are outselling desktops.
3. Notebooks are rapidly becoming commodity products, if they aren’t already.
4. The old sources of pricing power: networking, display size and processor speed have or are becoming table stakes.

Software Problems
1. GUI has pretty much matured.
2. Few of the leading software apps will drive 10-20% growth through even more feature bloat.
3. Low Cost shareware and cloud apps are nipping at the heals of market leaders.

To get each new generation of value, customers need to buy both the new hardware and software solution. This is a nifty gambit...if it works.

A Multitouch Product Road Map
Apple, Microsoft and HP like multitouch because it provides a reliable product roadmap for the industry that is independent of expensive components. It is likely to look something like this:
Rev. 1 - Single Touch interaction
Rev. 2 - 2-point Touch Interaction.
Rev. 3 - “True” Multi-touch
Rev. 4 - Interaction with Physical objects.

Why Dan Saffer's Designing Gestural Interfaces is Important
Like any high growth market, there will be those who create real value and the hangers on. The people and organizations that succeed in any endeavor are the ones that know their niche and excel at it.

Designing Gestural Interfaces is the first meaningful attempt to put some clear definition around this field, its history and its niches.

Knowing this will help us and our clients:
- Identify our unique value
- Identify historical precedents
- Clarify market opportunities within the field

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