Monday, January 12, 2009

CES Multitouch Roundup

Touch TV is Showing Off Touch System

While this looks really cool, I have two big issues, Fatigue and Affordances.
Fatigue: If this is meant to be and "associate assisted device, as the presenter suggests, that associate is going to end up with some serious "Gorilla Arms" from holding their hands in the air all day. The presenter's argument is that this thing eliminates the cost of the circular...but what about the medical costs of a fulltime clerk with a nasty case of monkey arms?

Affordances: What is cueing users to find "secondary content" or to explain which content can be dragged and dropped?

Layout: Paradoxically, little old ladies get so pissed off at customer service that they frequently early adopt technology solutions in retail. With controllers on the bottom and top of the display, this layout seems like it is going to be really difficult for large swaths of the audience to use.

This demo, also from Touch TV Networks, shows how a multitouch device might be used as a directional kiosk. I appreciate the 3D visualization of the store/mall. I do wonder if the whole thing would be easier to use if the controllers were buttons below the map...and the map drew an animated arrow from where the visitor is to where they want to be...Little old ladies would likey that.

I like scatter views because they afford usage. They afford usage because they make your interface look disheveled though. Isn't there a better solution?

Meet the Pre, Palm's Upgrade from the Treo

It has some interesting gesture solutions...I still think Apple will continue to lock this market up.


Look how the device shakes everytime the presenter touches the display. A multitouch display on a pressure hinge...are they nuts?

MS-NBC And Microsoft Continue Their Unholy Co-marketing Agreement

I like that two devices use the same tag to perform a task, but this just seems awkward. Please, tell me why?

Stupid Al Roker Doing Something Stupid With Surface Actually, the demo looks like fun. I just have a thing with Al Roker. Go Vectorform!

An Update. I ran into Frances Calandra of Vectorform today at the NRF Big Show. The app is actually fun, but it doesn't engage for very long. ~:45 to 1:00 minute.


  1. Lol. Gorilla Arms. I love that!

    I had a problem with the Pre Palm gesture pad at the bottom of the device (below the touch screen) as it seems to be used inconsistently. Sometimes you swipe it to do something and sometimes you swipe the screen. Also I can't help but wonder if people are going to be accidentally gesturing while simply holding the phone and trying to work on the touch screen.

  2. TouchTV looks like it would be a good idea for the mall. I'd incorporate a small play space near the bottom of the application to occupy kids who are shopping with their moms and become impatient. (This is where the "casual games" folks could shine.)

    (The touch screen book looks like it came from one of the WPF samples.)

  3. I played with this book bit at NRF today. It's very cool, but I just don't see how it will work in real life.