We have seen an explosion of multi-touch examples over the last 6-12 months - From pure technical demonstrations, to stunning rich media presentations like Microsoft Surface. But, almost all of them looks and works the same way.
Multi-touch is an incredible progression in interaction design. It allows us to directly manipulate - instead of having to use one device to use another. We no longer have to use a mouse to use a computer, nor use a pen to use a PDA or a mobile phone.
Multi-touch also allow us to mix physical objects with virtual ones. E.g. Microsoft Surface demonstrated how we could get direct feedback from a glass put on a table or share photos directly from your digital camera.
But the problem with most multi-touch concepts is while they look cool, they do not really solve any new problems. Microsoft Surface created something special, not because of the technology (many others had done the same), but because they created a new interaction principle.
This is just some of the capabilities that multi-touch offers you. Your challenge is not to implement them, but to find new and brilliant ways to solve people's problems, create new opportunities, change people's workflow into something extraordinary or invent something that push the boundaries of what we can do.
Just replacing the mouse or pen with a touch-screen does not really change that much. Apple's iPhone is not really that spectacular. It is basically just desktop interaction with your fingers admittedly with a twist).
It is faster in some situations, and it is much more convenient with mobile devices - but it does not solve the fundamental problems with interaction. You constantly have to navigate around an interface, you still have to deal with menus and buttons, and you still struggle with "modes".
Multi-touch allows you to go beyond all that - but you have to think differently than what you are used to. And, multi-touch does not have to be on a table or a mobile phone.
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