Saturday, May 2, 2009

Striking effects of Apple's success

I own an iphone.. thanks to my birthday present last year by my dear friend. Did it change the way I looked at things & did them. Well yes!!! it is my son who does more with it, due to the ease of use and I am sure industry players recognised the potential of touch screen.. to a huge extent that all of the technology players want to make use of the same.... here is an interesting article on the same.

One of the most striking effects of Apple's success with the iPhone is that it has made us think of touch as a natural and efficient way to interact with our electronic tools. So far, the touch revolution has been limited mainly to phones and other handheld devices, but it's coming to computers, and it is going to make a big difference.


It will be a year since I had got iphone as a present on my birthday. Did it changed the way I looked at things, sure enough. My whole family is “touchy” on the iphone and recentlymy brother-in-law also added another iphone to our family.


Touch-sensitive screens have been around for some years, but until the development of a technology called capacitive touch—the sort used on the iPhone—the displays were intended for use with a pen or stylus. Capacitive touch gives reasonably precise results even when poked with a fat finger. And, more important, the new screens can sense multiple touches at once, enabling sophisticated ways of interacting, such as using your fingers to stretch or shrink images on the screen.


Touch will come to PCs in a big way this fall when Microsoft launches Windows 7. The latest version of Windows includes extensive support for multi-touch screens, but while test versions of Windows 7 are readily available, hardware to run it is scarce. Fortunately, Dell has just come out with a new version of its Latitude XT, a so-called tablet computer that can be used without a keyboard. The new XT2 ($2,300 and up—big capacitive screens are expensive) comes with a 12-in. display from N-trig. Its DuoSense technology lets you control programs either with a pen or with your finger. You can use this convertible laptop either as a conventional clamshell notebook or, by rotating the screen, as a slate. It features a faster processor, longer battery life, and lots of other goodies.


At the simplest level, your finger is a mouse. That idea may be familiar if you have used an iPhone or seen it demonstrated on TV, but somehow it's more revolutionary on a larger device running work-related programs. Touching an onscreen object selects it, tapping an icon or link acts as a mouse click. If you hold your finger on the title bar of a window, you can drag the window around the screen. The same gesture on the edge or bottom of the window lets you increase the size or shrink it.


That's helpful, but not all that surprising. I was more taken with the ability, in some programs, to scroll through content in the window by sliding my finger up and down or side to side. Pinching or stretching out two fingers on the screen lets you shrink or expand the contents of a window, so you can zoom in or out on a Web page, map, or picture.

There are some other two-finger tricks. If you touch something on the screen with one finger down and tap with a second, you bring up a menu of content-specific actions, the equivalent of a right click. In Windows Photo Gallery, you can rotate a picture with a circular gesture using two fingers. And tapping an icon at the edge of the screen brings up a big onscreen keyboard designed for use with fingers rather than a stylus.

I am sure that as the hardware and software get better, touch will become an important feature of most systems available in the market. Once you've used it for a while, it feels a lot more natural than a mouse.


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