Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Will all future tablet PCs include multi-touch screens?

I think that all future touch-screen smartphones will include capacitive multi-touch screens. Will the same be true for tablet PCs? After all, I primarily use my Wacom digitizer when I'm using my tablet PC. Although it's capable of touch-based input, I don't use that very often since I'm a pen-based computing guy.

Will all future tablet PCs include a dual-input (some call this a dual digitizer) screen that will allow users to navigate using a pen as well as fingers? Are multi-touch features here to stay for tablet PCs? I'm still not entirely sure. Why? You see, capacitive multi-touch makes a lot of sense for smartphones that have small screens. I'm still not entirely convinced that they make sense for professional tablet PCs (I can definitely see their appeal for consumer-based tablet PCs).

Maybe the consumer market will drive tablet PC manufacturers to include multi-touch screens on all future tablets. Maybe the health care sector will only use tablets that include Wacom-based active digitizers that also include passive touch screens. After all, do you think you can use a capacitive touch screen if you're wearing hospital gloves? You can if you have a passive touch screen. 

1 comment:

  1. Great question. I think the answer is, absolutely. It is unnatural to interact with an object and our environment with only a single touch point although our devices have trained us to feel otherwise.

    In the future we will not have 'work devices' and 'consumer devices' - we're already seeing this with devices like the iPhone. Browser based applications will accelerate this trend as the device itself will not have to be loaded down with task specific, local apps specific.

    What's better than one finger? All of them! The device of the future will leverage our other senses as well along with other forms of interacting with our environment (communication) like speech. The NexusOne phone, for example, released today by Google adjusts itself based on background noise, lighting levels, and has speech-to-text. Very exciting time!

    Great post!