Friday, April 17, 2009

Touch tech has its place

Using touch for keyboard inputing ...

"Touch will not replace the keyboard and mouse as input devices, but will be an alternative solution in some cases, says Phil McKinney, HP's VP and CTO for the Personal Systems Group (PSG).

Most of the time it will be an integration of touch-screen technology, keyboard and mouse solutions, he adds.

“Touch is not the magic answer. Some applications' functions are cool with touch technology, but others are just not.” McKinney says touch is a very personal experience, so it is hard to decide where and how to implement the technology so most consumers find it useful, intuitive and effective.

Integrating touch technology in a device can be problematic with regard to ergonomics and design, he notes. “Typing on glass is like typing on granite.”

But keyboards can be “intimidating to people who don't know technology at all”, he says. In cases where people with little or no technology experience are involved, touch technology can be a great alternative and can be effectively deployed, as opposed to a traditional PC setup.

“Basically, our whole ethos around touch is to drive the delivery of an insanely simplistic computer experience,” he says.

HP aims to make interacting with a PC more intuitive with touch technology, McKinney says. This includes looking at how various nationalities and cultural groups around the world would normally interact with such a device. When a specific user touches the screen in a specific way, the PC will instantly realise where the user is from and respond accordingly. “This would allow a device to adapt the interpretation of touch for each user, rather than the user having to learn a new touch language,” he concludes."    (Continued via ITWeb, Theoo Boshoff)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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