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Why the Tablet will use a Stylus, Camera & Touch...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
The Tablet, by all accounts and common sense, will be predominately a CONSUMPTION device rather than a CREATION device. Distinguished from a full fledged laptop by focusing on consuming the INTERNET, MOVIES, TV, BOOKS, MUSIC, NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, SOCIAL NETWORKING, etc. Many of the tech journalists are focused on INPUT, and the need for either a really cool on-screen keyboard and/or a bluetooth keyboard option. The former will be part of the OS, but mainly just for entering short messages, web URL's etc. The latter won't happen. No keyboard - forget it, Apple will distinguish the device from a laptop specifically by preventing the use of keyboards. An External add-on is just ugly and inelegant - not Apple's way.

BUT, there is a bit of a problem to solve. Pick up the iPhone, and you can use one hand - almost without fail - to operate every function on the device including text entry. Your thumb can basically reach the entire screen. Pick up your laptop, you rest to hands on the bottom keyboard/trackpad area to type and navigate. The tablet will have neither - so how can I navigate/control/input on it.

The answer is three fold. (IMHO) Your left hand will hold the device while your right hand uses touch to navigate. This will work great for 80% of what you do (browsing etc.). Sometimes, like when you put the device down to watch a video; it won't work so great because you'll have to block the screen with your hands in order to manipulate the input, and because you might be more than an arms-length away. Here's where camera-based navigation comes in. Tracking your motions you'll be able to FF/RW etc.

Now, imagine you're holding the device and need to enter text. If you put it down to type with two hands; you're hunched over and eating most the screen with a virtual keyboard; try doing this on the go and it's a real pain. You have to be able to hold the device with one hand while entering text with the other. You can do this via a smaller on-screen keyboard, but single-finger hunt & peck is not very efficient. What would work? A stylus. Now you're taking notes like using a clip-board.

Now, some people aren't good at handwriting anymore, or just don't want to do it. SO, the only other option is to make the BACK of the device touch-sensitive, present a split on-screen keyboard (half bottom-left; half bottom-right) and some real-time wizardy to show you where your fingers are in relation to on-screen keys. You then type on the back and see the results on the screen. This is efficient and fast for people who learn how to do it, but the other options also exist.

Input and PLACEMENT (how do you 'hold' this thing when using it) are the two great questions of the Tablet, I can't wait to see how Apple solves them. I'm sure their ideas will be bigger/better than outlined here, but this is what I can imagine.
post #2 of 8
At this point it doesn't pay to speculate to much. That being said I think you have gotten it right with the general configuration early in your post. That is the device is consumptive for the most part and that Apple will limit connectivity to keyboards and the like.

As to typing on the screen I don't think it will be as bad as you describe, but it won't be a device for bulk text entry. A response like this posting would be easy to accomplish with the device on a flat surface though. In portability mode there are so many options that it is almost not worth discussing until the tablet arrives.

Four more days and the mystery should come to an end.


Dave
post #3 of 8
I had a similar idea on this as you. But one difference... I imagined cradling the tablet in one arm and the cradling arm would act like your chording hand on a guitar.

So imagine you are right handed and the tablet senses where your fingers are placed on the screen and the typing keypad appears where ever you are touching it oriented with your hand position.

Then you use your left hand to do the same as if you were chording a guitar neck on the outer edge of the tablet screen and you choose between 2 or 3 different keypads. I bet you could type quite fast using this setup. Much faster than 2 finger hunt and peck or even thumbs.
post #4 of 8
Primarily you'll use touch, but when creating you'll use a stylus. There's no getting around the fact that fingers are too fat, I just hope they have done their homework.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
The speculation, even this late in the game, is worth it to me because I think the MAGIC of Apple is finding solutions to the ergonomic problems posed by traditional thinking about a tablet. Do they have something surprising to deal with both the INPUT and POSITION issues? It will be fascinating to watch and of great interest to me if anyone is able to predict.
post #6 of 8
Text entry by stylus (or pen) is slower than keyboard.

http://www.gyford.com/phil/writing/2010/01/18/input.php

C.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Text entry by stylus (or pen) is slower than keyboard.

http://www.gyford.com/phil/writing/2010/01/18/input.php

C.

This has some major flaws though... are most people touch typists? I'm not. Though I have gotten quite fast even without touch typing but it causes a lot of typos that I have to edit later. So different typists have different speeds.

Also, the writing surface for these tests on the portable devices is so small so it's not analogous to the full sized tablet.

And.. if you have to put in some kind of artwork or diagram the text options fail immediately. But hey.. we have done without drawing in documents for so long it must not be important.. right.........................? For many people in certain fields it's just as important as the text if not more important.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Primarily you'll use touch, but when creating you'll use a stylus. There's no getting around the fact that fingers are too fat, I just hope they have done their homework.

Apple has. You should too. Maybe eliminate some of your attention-getting "predictions"
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