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Apple developing "mechanical overlay" touch interface - Page 2

post #41 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by web proofing

I love this idea. Thousands of possibilities for software developers. Hopefully we'll get far past these limited input binary type devices. More pressure sensitive and responsive inputs. This is just the beginning of customizability of devices.

How about an Adobe Mac? Looking at the bottom left half of fig 14, there is a keyboard with a secondary screen. Perhaps there you could have all the related technical windows, toolbars or a touchup/drawing-editor. Even a Wacom-embedded tablet.

Must be some way we could all make money here.
post #42 of 58
Kind of reminds my of this.
post #43 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core

Why would you worry? Let Steve do it.


As for this new filling, this is not like the 'simple' touch pad that we have available today. Significantly more comprehensive, complicated and sensitive.

That's where the problem lies. On the older iPods with touch sensitive controls, accidental button activation was a common problem. The buttons would activate even if your finger was just a short distance from the surface.
post #44 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler

Consider this: It could also be for desktop displays.

Approach this from the display side instead of an input peripheral perspective. Apps could enhance their tool-bar/status-bar by making a plastic sheet with holes that clips onto the touch sensitive display.

If the display was touch sensitive, why would you need plastic sheets at all? Couldn't the application just draw those extra interfaces right on the screen?
post #45 of 58
I can imagine a video editing station with multi-touch and direct manipulation of video and audio edits... by Thor, the speed increases could be astronomical!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #46 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar

If the display was touch sensitive, why would you need plastic sheets at all? Couldn't the application just draw those extra interfaces right on the screen?

Of course it is possible. We'd never heard of touch sensitive displays before.

People like interacting with tactile controls. Perfectly flat control boards are harder to operate and result in more operator errors.

I'm not asserting it belongs on a consumer desktop. I'd actually want to try various implementations before reaching a decision. Touchy-feely aspects of human factors (pun intended) should be tested because this type of thing is almost impossible to predict. Marketability might be predictable but specific interaction efficiencies are not.
post #47 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar

That's where the problem lies. On the older iPods with touch sensitive controls, accidental button activation was a common problem. The buttons would activate even if your finger was just a short distance from the surface.

The increased sensitivity would be relevant to the requirements of the mechanical device that is sitting on top of it. I was not talking about finger-touching. However, in that case, the current preferences for the touchpad would probably be sufficient.
post #48 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbh0001

Kind of reminds my of this.

Or even this.
post #49 of 58
I'm not really sure how useful a mixing console the size of the palmrests would be. Also not so sure how much better replacing the whole keyboard with a mixing console, etc. would be, because you'd still have to take along your keyboard attachment if you wanted to type anything, so it would only be marginally more portable, and certainly not as reliable... Besides that, apples history of user-replaceable and customisable parts goes about as far as the isock and of course the very affordable offical usb-230V converter...

I personally am a big fan of the LCD keyboard idea for protools, sibelius, adobe suite, etc., and hope that will soon exist, and also think that some scroll wheels or small, extra track-pads would be nice additions to the keyboard somehow for certain applications such as Logic...
post #50 of 58
I don't see the use.

Effectively this turns the entire touch-sensitive pad into an "port" where external devices can "plug in" to the computer. How is this at all better than using external USB devices? Also, would it really be convenient to swap out your keyboard for something else? Wouldn't it be better to have something else beside the keyboard, so you can still use the keyboard when necessary?

The main problem is that the touch-sensitive pad itself would be expensive if it were to be precise enough to work well with these devices. Whereas USB is already here, and dirt-cheap. I guess the devices themselves could be cheap, because they would be mechanical rather than electronic. But would it be worth it?

Basically, I don't see a problem that this technology would solve. It's a fun idea, the kind of thing that my friends and I would come up with over a beer ("Wouldn't it be cool if..."), but one that we would promptly forget because it's not actually that good.

That said, I have some faith in Apple, so I suspect if they do implement it, it will be useful somehow. But I highly doubt it will ever be more than a bunch of drawings.
post #51 of 58
this patent is just the mechanical equivalent of the virtual, multi-touchable "desktop" we've seen for the forthcoming videoPod...
anyone remembering the "switchable" case of the PB1400...?
post #52 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Slump

That said, I have some faith in Apple, so I suspect if they do implement it, it will be useful somehow.

Apple Cell Computer.

http://geocities.com/gene_technics
post #53 of 58
This is a brilliant idea!
Assuming that this sensing surface is available on both laptops, stand alone surface and even displays it'd make it a dream for 3D party developers and for home made overlay makers.
I'd use one overlay for music apps, one for video apps, one for drawing apps, I'd experiment with my own overlays made of I don't know... Lego? Heck for some experimental music apps or something you don't even need an overlay, just scatter some buttons over the surface and draw them around to manipulate a synth sound or...

I guess Apple is trying to make a standard touch based system that they can apply on just about anything. Smart move..

And about that rotary mouse... phew, what a relief that it never came. You can even see on the image how cramped it would be to hold the mouse and rotate at the same time.
post #54 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by gene_technics

Apple Cell Computer.

http://geocities.com/gene_technics

There is no way anyone is going to learn that keyboard implimentation unless they lost the use of one hand. I appreciate the goal and that is an innovative approach that seems like it could be easy, however making a "sort of QWERTY" keyboard is worse than making one that is totally new. I wrote the key plan out on a piece of paper to see how it would feel, but the "e" being so far above the "t" played with my mind too much. The numeric pad on a phone is easier.
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post #55 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbh0001

Kind of reminds my of this.

Except that, as the patent states, this deals with mechanical rather than virtual control surfaces.
post #56 of 58
Yes the mechanical overlay solves the issue of no tactile feedback. If the touch surface is a display the mechanical overlay could also be transparent for labelling.

You might not bother doing the entire keyboard that way but for the numpad? You could pop out the numpad portion and add a slider overlay or a jogwheel overlay. They could be no more than CD case thickness.
post #57 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGregor

There is no way anyone is going to learn that keyboard implimentation unless they lost the use of one hand. I appreciate the goal and that is an innovative approach that seems like it could be easy, however making a "sort of QWERTY" keyboard is worse than making one that is totally new.

It's a compact implementation of the QWERTY layout and the main goal is a localization according to the international standards for every language the most part of those have non-Latin alphabet (check out this link - http://www.customkeys.com/foreign.html). Providing comfort of typing is very important as well - the keys are the hexagons, each of them is based on a circle with 8 mm in diameter, and in addition, that's quite enough for reliable sensing (as one of the examples of the implemented touch-sensitive interfaces - http://www.archos.com/products/video...global&lang=en). And with one week of training you can get used to the layout without any problems because by rows and the sequences of keys in them a standard computer keyboard and its compact implementation are identical.

The keywords are: standard localization and comfort of typing. BTW, it's the first system of typing for mobile devices that uses the same principles as the ten-finger method. And by ergonomical data - 3 standard keys - 18 x 3 = 54 mm - the width of a device and the system of typing is designated for three fingers: index, middle and ring fingers. The system of typing means that at every moment of typing there is the shortest distance between the designated finger and the key of the layout. Try to use any system of this type for any of the existing models where you press directly at least two keys at once.

That's the base for the project. And its main idea is:

It's a fully functional computer due to the two touch-sensitive display solution - a cell computer.

I know only about one similar project and it's been successfully implemented - Nintendo DS and DS Lite game computer:

"You no longer have to rely on just buttons to move your character or shift perspectives. Navigate menus or access inventory items simply by touching the screen with a stylus or fingertip. The possibilities are limited only by developers' imaginations. "

http://www.nintendo.com/overviewds

And as an illustration:

http://www.nintendo.com/dslarge?gall...ew&currentNo=5

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGregor

I wrote the key plan out on a piece of paper to see how it would feel, but the "e" being so far above the "t" played with my mind too much. The numeric pad on a phone is easier.

I did some changes. Thanks for your help.

Interesting that the changes in layout brought a lot of new functionality. I untied the control keys from the position in the bottom and left there only the Alt key - and it has changed its function to the key that gets all the system together:

1. Key combinations are pressed in sequence - no need to hold the Ctrl and Shift keys, just touch them, they get highlighted - like CapsLock or NumLock keys. This allows to easily navigate and select by multiple pressings of the arrows.

2. The Alt key is used for invoking a context menu on the second display. This allows to edit selected objects immediately as in desktop programs. The bottom line of the screen in the context menu mode is an access to the system's dashboard and program menu - the Alt key at the same place is used for returning to the keyboard mode.
post #58 of 58

There are lots of other potential applications such as in aviation, automobiles, and live video production. 

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