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SPECULATION: 5 Ways Apple will use Multi-Touch to Change Computing

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new_imac.jpgNow, let me say right now – this is SPECULATION – I am not claiming, nor pretending, that these things are going to happen. This is just what I think based on what I’ve read, seen, and expect.

I can’t wait to hear what you think about this, and I hope we can have a discussion about these predictions. I think Multi-touch is the absolute future of interacting with our computers, and these are 5 ways I think Apple is going to utilize the new technology this year.

1) One of Leopard’s “Big” Top Secret feature will be Multi-touch – Jobs made some very interesting statements when he introduced Multi-touch for the iPhone at the Keynote. Making sure to compare Multi-touch to both the click-wheel, and the mouse. I think the mouse comparison is important, because I believe Multi-touch is the biggest thing to come out of the Keynote. Multi-touch will change the way we interact with computers, and I think Leopard is going to utilize Multi-touch. Which brings me to…

2) Multi-touch enable Apple Displays – I don’t honestly think Multi-touch is going to replace the mouse over night, but I do think that when we see the newest versions of the Apple displays they will have iSight cameras built right in, and one (very expensive) model will be Multi-touch enabled, allowing you to work directly on screen, and taking full advantage of the Multi-touch features.

3) Multi-touch Macbook Pros – Will we ever see the tablet Mac some of us dream about? Not from Apple…but I do think we’ll see the swivel design of a Tablet Notebook PC used on a Multi-touch enabled Macbook Pro this year.

4) Multi-touch Pads – An alternative to the mouse, a Multi-touch pad will be similar to a Wacom tablet, but allowing you to use your finger(s) instead of a pen. It will be far more precise than the touch pads on current notebooks, and will be available as a mouse-like stand alone product, and on all Macbook Pros.

5) Ultra Portable Multi-touch iMac – I’ve said it before, the iMac is almost portable now…the next generation model will be ultra-portable, and feature a mult-touch enabled screen allowing you to take it around the house and finally… the ‘net at full capacity while you’re on the can.

So what do you think? On a scale of 1 to 10, how crazy am I?

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

10 thoughts on “SPECULATION: 5 Ways Apple will use Multi-Touch to Change Computing

  1. Personally, I wouldn’t challenge anybody to put me on ‘nuts-scale 1 to 10’.

    You do have some valid points though.
    Can see the secret feature of Leopard show up like this. Would be ‘finger-lickin good’.

    Product-wise it is always a crystal ball guess with Apple and my guess is that, while it might become a feature in Leopard, the iPhone will be the sole item for now under the Apple brand, testing the waters on its functionality in real-world use.
    But supporting the technique for 3rd party vendors to build hardware around it seems realistic to me.

    Touch-screen with build in iSight does not seem right to me. Having a monitor on a stand, touching it while keeping distance for the camera would be conflicting.
    Your touch-pad, or maybe a touch/monitor pad makes more sense for that purpose.

  2. Interesting, I hope you’re right. I have always liked the idea of a tablet pc and seeing Apple make a Mac-tablet with Multi-Touch would make me smile. I hope they will practice some more by making a Multi-Touch-featuring widescreen video iPod 🙂

  3. I fully agree, this is the way the computer interface is going. I saw a demo a few years ago of a gesture enabled OS that allowed the user to manipulate files, folders and content with their hands, and the speed and flexibility was amazing, even if it was a demo.

    Now think about how your UI would be able to help you work if you could combine verbal control with multi touch.

    Goodbye physically dedicated keyboards. Those would be relegated to the specialty fields of data input very quickly. Most people would just dictate letters, email, etc., greatly speeding up the process of communication.

    Sorry, kids, but texting is going to go the way of the dinosaur very soon. You’ll see video communication pick up as fast as the cell phone networks catch up to the bandwidth requirements. The Dick Tracy video communicator is literally right around the corner!

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here – in five years, you won’t recognize your Mac!

  4. I think you’re right that the way we interact with our computers will be changing soon. Anything that can be unfettered from the keyboard and mouse WILL be unfettered soon, and touch screens are likely the best and most naturally first step in that direction. And if someone is going to lead such revolutionary ideas and make computers like we saw in Minority Report a reality, it ought to be Apple, Inc.

    That said, I think people who make speculative prognostications on this topic tend to make overly-optimistic timeframes.

    First, look at Apple’s pattern. Apple has numerous times introduced a new technology, just to get its feet wet, and then introduced that technology in other products as it gets some experience and community feedback. But their pattern isn’t quite so drastic as what you’re looking forward to.

    After all, Apple is driven by what its customers (or potential customers) want, and most people don’t WANT touch screen monitors, not REALLY, because it’s just too Star Trek-ish at this point. Now get them used to highly reactive touch screen interfaces by putting it on their phones, iPods, and other consumer devices, and before you know it, they’ll be screaming to have the same experience on their computers.

  5. I think your pretty crazy, but the ideas aren’t so far fetched as you might imagine, I’m not sure about the multitouch imac, or the cinema displays for that matter, but I can see a macbook that has the ability to spin around (close aswell) and be carried around literally as a notebook and only use the multi touch ability, but i dun think we will see that kind of technology in monitors, but I do think it will be the next big thing from apple, I dun think it will be tied in with the leopard launch, i think it will be something developed at a later date. prehaps the next macworld or wwdc

  6. Multitouch pad? Hmm.. It’s amazing! I just try ti imagine how it is and my heart go boom! That is absolutely great! But..

  7. To be honest I don’t think you’re thinking enough out of the box, Apple doesn’t need to tack Multi-touch onto it’s Macintosh range of computers, not all Apple computers have been called Mac. Apple could use Multi-touch to create a entirely new type of computer, Microsoft would say this is a tablet PC, but Tablet PCs are just windows without a mouse and keyboard, they havnt entirely re done the operating system, as I suspect Apple would. The killer feature is getting to be the next notebook, the thing kids want to take to school, they can write on it, take notes, surf the net, play games, and they don’t have to pull out a keyboard every time they need to type, if, they need to type.

    Of course this would mean Apple wouldn’t be releasing any of this in the next year, let alone Leopard!!! Sorted.


  8. Multi-touch on my iPod Touch has me sold. I find myself wanting to touch my iMac screen in the same way I do my iPod Touch.
    Can’t wait until we have a huge screen with touch on the next generation of Macs!

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