Ambition and reality of consumer multi-touch computers

About three and a half years after Jeff Han’s inspiring demo of potential uses for multi-finger touch interaction displays (i.e. multi-touch), this is one example of what ended up in stores:

Not only is this a mediocre presentation but in my opinion the first 30 seconds clearly show yet another instance of a phenomenon often seen in the consumer IT industry: as soon as a new feature such as multi-touch has a first working mass-market implementation, a product is rushed out the door just so that the “supports feature XY” label can be slapped on it by the marketing department. What consumers end up with are unrefined products with features that cause users to make so many mistakes that it takes them much longer to do what they wanted to do, than if they had simply stuck with a traditional product.

Add to this an absolutely uninspired software package where one of the most valuable features seems to be that users can randomly flick around a total of 8 pictures on screen, one is left to wonder whether there are any potential buyers who don’t take their wallets and run away as fast as they can.

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One thought on “Ambition and reality of consumer multi-touch computers

  1. Pingback: Touchscreen? Meet the touchfaucet | Advancing Usability

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