Julius Plenz – Blog

touch screens

I don't own a smart phone. Neither do I own an ebook reader. It's not that I don't like the idea; I like it. It's just that the products in that area still is in a very embryoinic state.

Considering what an iPhone or the Kindle can do, that sound like a pretty strange statement. But actually, it isn't. Let the technology be really advanced – if the user interface is no good, the product is no good.

And the current user interfaces are no good. As this nice article points out really well, we are degraded to finger-swiping and tapping motions at best. With my current phone, I can type an SMS without looking at the display; control the MP3 player without taking the phone out of my pocket; switch it to silent without looking at it. – The key point here is to sense things. Or, as the article concludes:

With an entire body at your command, do you seriously think the Future Of Interaction should be a single finger?

Side show, but the same principle applies: Keyboard vs. Mouse. Can you actually feel the corner of windows, buttons, etc.? – I can't. But I can sure feel whether I pressed a key. I can type without looking at my keyboard, but I wouldn't even care to touch the mouse without looking at the screen.

The day we have smartphones that not only have "force feedback" but real, tangible, tactile buttons and the illusion of touching a non-flat, non-homogeneous surface, I'll buy one. Same goes for the Kindle as soon as I can feel the edge of the paper and roll it like it was a few pages of printout or a paperback.

posted 2011-11-09 tagged life