Talk:Multi-touch interface

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 Definition Set of interaction techniques which allow computer or mobile users to control graphical user interface with more than one finger at either application or system level. [d] [e]
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Archive 1, 8-17-10: Talk:Multi-touch_interface/Archive1

Pat's review of this article

This is a great beginning. The article as it stands today covers a lot of ground, and I especially appreciate the DOI's in the references, plus the sections on programming MTT and legal issues, which are very nice. The article might also benefit from additional development; some ideas for this are detailed in the following subsections:Pat Palmer 13:31, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

history section

This is a tough call, but after reading it and the Wikipedia version, and also Bill Buxton's article, I recommend boiling the history down to a much shorter section that explains how development of various technologies went on from the 1970's forward by a number of research groups, companies, etc. And then I would use Buxton as an External Link for people wanting to explore the history. As it stands, the history section is not complete; for example, I remember seeing (and using) a number of those LED-grid type touch screen terminals in Bell Labs during the 1980's; this history omits those, and Bill Buxton's article mentions them briefly in passing. Further, some of the devices in the history are not really touch devices, which I find odd. Rather than have an incomplete, and possibly inaccurate history, I would summarize and punt.Pat Palmer 13:38, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

I am, at least temporarily, archiving most of the history section here, as I consider it too derivative of the Buxton website. However, there are some additions here that we may want to work back into the article.Pat Palmer 14:42, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

market share

Despite several statements about iPhone's impact (and we all know it to be so), there are no actual market statistics for iPhone, for Microsoft Surface, or for Android and other MTT devices. Some real numbers would help this be a convincing argument; without numbers, it's more like opinion.Pat Palmer 13:40, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

how it works

Near the end of this section, and after listing four technologies, there is this statement: "Here, I will only discuss capacitive and resistive which are the types of technology used in mobile phones." First off, there is no "I" in a wiki; better to say "this article will cover...". But the main point is, maybe we can make placeholder sections for all four technologies, and let someone else fill them in later. This choosing of phones over all other options actually made me smile (it's a young-old kind of prejudice, maybe).Pat Palmer 13:49, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

I've reworded this and added sections for "infrared" and "wave sensing". Those sections needs at least a brief paragraph of a description added to them.Pat Palmer 13:08, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Microsoft Surface, and all the tablet PC's throughout the 2000's

Although Surface, and Microsoft-based tablet PC's, were commercially available (and did have a viable market) throughout the mid and late 2000's, they are treated in this article more as an after-thought. Though they didn't have the same market explosion as iPhones, they do employ a highly-related touch technology, and they came first, so I feel there is a kind of imbalance in the treatment (not just here, but overall in these survey types of articles) that is unfortunate. If we're going to do that, let's at least justify it with market stats.Pat Palmer 13:49, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Capacitive Touch Screens section

The essential information that this particular type of screen does not work on gloved hands is at the very bottom. I would move it to the top of the section. In fact, I would like to see this section organized more like the following section (Resistive Touch Screens), which starts right out with a list of advantages and disadvantages of that technology. Also, the class presentation included some graphics for how these work that would be nice here. Presumably, there was no time to seek permission for their use, but making our own versions of the illustrations might be useful in the future.Pat Palmer 13:55, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Education section, under Future of MT

IMO, we might want to temper the enthusiasm expressed here by finding out what the power consumption would be. It would, in fact, be very interested to try and understand the overall environmental impact, including waste disposal when gadgets die, of a computerized screen vs. white boards vs. chalk boards over, say, a twenty-year span. I'm not so sure that the touch screen would win, because there would be power used, plus pollution from manufacturing the devices, plus pollution from (one day) disposing of the device's now-dead materials.Pat Palmer 14:06, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

I have revised this section per my comments above.Pat Palmer 15:48, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Health Care section, under Future of MT

Just wondering if there is any advantage of a smooth multi-touch screen, in terms of hygiene--being able to clean off germs--as compared with a keyboard and mouse (which are really not at all easy to sterilize). Is this a factor in their adoption?Pat Palmer 14:06, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks to Howards references in the section below this, I was able to revise this section. However, I did not yet add any references added to the article.Pat Palmer 15:45, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Pop Culture References to MTT

I would like to see this section absorbed into the introduction, and the heading "go away", because it is identical to the last section of the corresponding Wikipedia article. The intro could say, just for example, that people have grew accustomed to seeing MTT in films and on television even before tablet PC's and iPhones made the technology available to the masses. The other details could also go elsewhere.Pat Palmer 14:06, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

I have now removed this section, after merging its content into the introduction.Pat Palmer 13:37, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Some observations on Pat's observation, from one outside the project

To address both disinfection, and market size, admittedly of a specialized market, see [1].

One report suggests that sealed industrial keyboards may be easier to disinfect than touch screens. [2] In my own experience in control interfaces on commercial fishing boats, where the problem is more salt water, fish guts, and wearing heavy gloves, I find that a large-button keyboard (think elevator-sized buttons) works better, for controlling key functions, than a touch screen.

Body contact devices but not necessarily touch screen: [3]

Howard C. Berkowitz 18:42, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Howard! As I suspected, dentists have strong concerns about the touch screens not being disinfectable. Doctors probably should have similar concerns. These were a big help.Pat Palmer 15:47, 7 September 2010 (UTC)


Look at Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below and Blue Force Tracker. While some of the workstations also have keyboards, the main battle interface is multi-touch.

While virtual displays are extremely common in high-performance fighters, traditional touch-screens are not, because it's rather difficult to reach out and touch in a nine-gravity turn. There are, however, conceptual linkages to screen icons in the HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick) technology that does work -- the pilot's hands are always on the throttle and stick, which are actually advanced joysticks covered with buttons. Those buttons can map to the screen, sometimes one-for-one, sometimes chorded. Mastering the "switchology" of learning to use them in combat, however, can take a year of intensive training. --Howard C. Berkowitz 23:11, 7 September 2010 (UTC)