Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Apple Tablet :: Innovation vs. Novelty

Last summer, I blogged about what I saw as a useful Apple product, an integrated MacBookPro & iTouch/iPhone.  Well, the rumour mill is chomping at the bit about Apple's unveiling of its "latest creation" next Wednesday.

I think I tend to agree with PC World's take that content matters.  Music/video, books, news/magazines, games, etc.  Sony got it right with Playstation 2 {plenty of games for the platform} and very wrong with the PSP.

I would surmise that the "iSlate" {more rumour} will add to the Apple "ecosystem" of stuff to buy, adding value by complementing iPhones, iTouchs, Macbooks, iMacs, MacPros, etc.  That would make the most sense.  So, I'm thinking this new offering will be a hybrid that will be more like an iTouch that ideally offers users tools for the better management of and experiences with media—of all digitized forms.  A souped-up iTouch or touchscreen Macbook would be a $1,000US novelty for most of the mass-market.  If the announcement is the "iSlate," Apple has sky high expectations to fulfill.

Speaking of adding value to user experiences, I've been intrigues by touchsceens lately.  A friend of mine {HT:: Mark} sent me a video on the 10/GUI CON10UUM multitouch operating system, which uses multi-touch gestures::

While I think this would take a bit of getting used to, I think there's something to this approach, which has users utilize multiple fingers to accomplish tasks.  Gestures like "pinching" can be utilized in ways a mouse cannot.

The demo assumes a separate touchpad and keyboard::

but I think these concepts can be applied to a iTouch/iPhone keypad that's not intended for PC-style usage.

There's a work area in the centre with menus on the right {globals} to select programmes and left {locals/application-specific operations}::

Here's the use of the globals::

and here's the use of the application-specific features::

The applications are structured along a line, hence the "continuum" metaphor::

I'm wondering how well this multitouch approach could be applied to a touchscreen context.  I was skeptical of the iTouch's keyboard, but was pleasantly surprised how well it worked.  So, while I don't think Apple's Tablet would use software such as the ones depicted below, I'm wondering how multitouch can further the functionality of a handheld device with limited real estate.

Twitterversion::  Rumours re: Apple's #iSlate tablet pose ?s of avail.content. Plus,thoughts on mergng multitouch&touchscreen technologies. @Prof_K

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