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August 16, 2006

Jeff Han's Multiple Touch Point Display, the stuff dreams are made of

For anyone who let out a resounding “Meh” after reading my Apple Table entry, check out this video. The video shows Jeff Han of New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences demonstrating a large touch screen display that is pressure sensitive and can accept multiple touch points simultaneously. This enables multiple fingers (or people!) to interact with the display at once. While some of the examples are a bit silly, they still start to expose the power of the interface. I wonder if Apple has something like this on some workbench somewhere? Even if they do, they should still snatch Jeff up before someone else does, this thing is impressive.

Research like this is exactly what we need to move past the traditional keyboard-mouse-screen arrangement. Jeff Han and his team have truly begun to unlock the potential of a touch screen interface. This prototype not only demonstrates technology that works incredibly well, it also showcases interfaces that are as fluid as they are attractive. The “quick-zoom pinch” is exactly the kind of feature that could be used to achieve mouse like precision with a touch screen. Also, the idea of a keyboard that moves with the users hands seems dead-on.

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