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Mega Apple filing details next-gen 'multi-touch input surface'

post #1 of 89
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The latest patent filing from Apple Inc. hints at a next-generation multi-touch 'surface' that would combine typing, pointing, scrolling, and handwriting capabilities into a single ergonomic design aimed at replacing traditional input devices such as the keyboard, mouse, and drawing tablet.

Like last week's filing for an advanced multi-touch trackpad, the concepts outlined in the massive 80-page document are partially credited to Wayne Westerman of Fingerworks, a company absorbed by Apple several years ago as part of its quest to deliver iPhone and a new generation of input devices.

The filing, submitted four times on July 30, 2007 with varying title descriptions, calls for a generic device that tightly integrates yet clearly distinguishes the different types of input without providing excess strain or muscle movement.

"It should therefore appear modeless to the user in the sense that the user should not need to provide explicit mode switch signals such as buttonpresses, arm relocations, or stylus pickups before switching from one input activity to another," Westerman wrote. "Epidemiological studies suggest that repetition and force multiply in causing repetitive strain injuries. Awkward postures, device activation force, wasted motion, and repetition should be minimized to improve ergonomics."

Therefore, the multi-touch creator explained that an ideal implementation of his concept calls for multi-touch surface apparatus which is both compliant and contoured to be comfortable and ergonomic under extended use. It would "provide tactile key or hand position feedback without impeding [a] hand resting on the surface or smooth, accurate sliding across the surface."



The surface would include an electronic system which could provide images of flesh proximity to an array of sensors with such resolution that a variety of hand configurations can be distinguished. This would allow the device to identify different hand parts as they contact the surface so that a variety of hand configurations can be recognized and used to distinguish different kinds of input activity, Westerman said.

Yet another objective of the multi-touch surface would be to reliably extract rotation and scaling, as well as translation degrees of freedom from the motion of two or more hand contacts to aid in navigation and manipulation of two-dimensional electronic documents. Furthermore, it would be capable of reliably extracting tilt and roll degrees of freedom from hand pressure differences to aid in navigation and manipulation of three-dimensional environments.



In its preferred embodiment, Westerman said the surface would be large enough to comfortably accommodate both hands and would be arched to reduce forearm pronation. Text input, pointing, scrolling and some media manipulation functions of the surface would function similarly to that of Apple's existing implementation on the iPhone and iPod touch. In addition, a form of handwriting recognition would be added via a "pen grip detection module."

While in pen grip mode, the module would determine whether the inner gripping fingers of a hand in a pen-gripping mode are actually touching the surface. If so, the module would begin to generate inking events from the path parameters of the inner fingers and append them to the outgoing event queue of the host communication interface.



"These inking events can either cause 'digital ink' to be laved on the display for drawing or signature capture purposes, or they can be intercepted by a handwriting recognition system and interpreted as gestures or language symbols," Westerman explained. "If the inner fingers are lifted, [the module] sends stylus raised events to the host communication interface to instruct the handwriting recognition system of a break between symbols."

"In some applications the user may need to indicate where the 'digital ink' or interpreted symbols are to be inserted on the display by positioning a cursor," Westerman continued. "Though on a multi-touch surface a user could move the cursor by leaving the pen grip configuration and sliding a finger chord, it is preferable to allow cursor positioning without leaving the pen grip configuration. This can be supported by generating cursor positioning events from slides of the palm heels and outer knuckles. Since normal writing motions will also include slides of the palm heels and outer knuckles, palm motions should be ignored until the inner fingers have been lifted for a few hundred milliseconds."

Should the user actually pick up a conductive stylus and attempt to write with it, the tip of the stylus would essentially takes the place of the index fingertip for identification purposes, remaining at or above the vertical level of the knuckles, according to the filing. "Thus the pen grip detector can function in essentially the same way when the user writes with a stylus, except that the index fingertip path sent to the host communication interface will in actuality be caused by the stylus."

In addition to Westerman, the filing is credited to Apple employee John Elias. The concepts presented within the filing are eerily indicative of functions that would be present in a next-generation Apple Newton MessagePad or tablet slate.

Indeed, AppleInsider this past September exclusively reported on Apple's plans for such a device in a report titled: Up next for Apple: the return of the Newton. The project, upon last check, remains very much work-in-progress, as it has been met with the usual assortment of bumps and bruises.
post #2 of 89
The thing I like about the way Apple comes out with new things is that they usually think them through--usability and ergonomics are their focus from the begining--not "how many functions can we cram on."

this is why the iPhone is so apealing and superior to the blizzard of "touch" phones coming out.

And this is why I am very interested in seeing them come out with a tablet. I have only recently converted to one on the Tablet Watch, and I still doubt that I would be an early adopter, but the posibilities get me excited.

Im ready!
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post #3 of 89
But it sounds like this latest patent is indicating that Apple (with the help of the fingerworks patent and probably many more) has gone beyond multitouch alone and really has come up with a comprehensive alternative to the traditional keyboard and mouse.
I am really excited to see what they have come up with. And that includes their mega-iphone like tablety device.
post #4 of 89
We're probably a long way from replacing the tried-and-true mouse and keyboard... but someday it will happen. The same-old controls won't be the standard until the end of time.

It's good to see Apple looking ahead, even if change comes as slowly as I expect. The "tactile feedback" aspect interests me.
post #5 of 89
Now that's a patent worth awarding, not like that retarded gift-card one.

I can't wait, this will be much better than the current Wacom Cintiq tablet/display.
post #6 of 89
Minority Report, here we come...
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post #7 of 89
Quote:
Minority Report, here we come...

I just wanted to say that . Go Apple!!!!
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post #8 of 89
"Murder..."

"Where is my Minority Report!?"

We're getting closer...god that'd be awesome.

*Imagines editing by cutting with my finger and dragging*
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post #9 of 89
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Originally Posted by Marc OSX View Post

Minority Report, here we come...

Or The Matrix Reloaded.
post #10 of 89
The images and description are very similar to the keyboard that Fingerworks used to sell (this one has some additional features, as would be expected, but seems more like a version 2 rather than a whole new product). I always wanted one of those, and if Apple made it as a stand-alone input device (for mac and PC) I'm sure they would sell like hotcakes. One of the reasons I never purchased one is that there was never an opportunity to try it, and not many reviews to build the confidence that it worked; Apple stores really help us try-before-you-buy types.
post #11 of 89
Like Marshall said. I had a fingerworks board (three actually) and those things were beyond awesome, though the learning curve at the beginning could be pretty bad (not a lot of tactile feedback).

FYI, for those of you thinking this is the beginning of a matrix or minority report interface, hate to tell you this, but those of us lucky enough to have fingerworks boards were doing this years ago. I mean I would be spinning windows and saving files and sending stuff off with perl and applescripts with flicks of my fingers and twists of my hands; I could interact with a workstation far faster than with two hands on a keyboard and the occasional mouse movement (and this is coming from a command line junkie).

You don't know how sublime it can be to save a document just by closing your fingers, or bring up an open dialog box just by turning your fingers in one direction (like you were popping open a bottle), or send a file off somewhere by flicking your fingers in some direction... so while I'm still bitter about Apple absorbing Fingerworks and seemingly not going anywhere with them very rapidly (the stuff you can do on an iphone with gestures was like 1% of what you could do on a Fingerworks board), I'm hoping this is the start of a return to form.
post #12 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The project, upon last check, remains very much work-in-progress, as it has been met with the usual assortment of bumps and bruises.

Yes, upon last check. You're not lying when you say that. But when was your last check? One of these days you'll be saying 'we told you so', maybe much sooner than later.

Steve had something to announce at Macworld that was taken out of the line up due to some problem, I'm sure. I don't think it'll last long 'til they've worked it out.

Here thestreet.com is communicating a rumor from site looprumors.com, they're saying a bigger more powerful than iPhone device with Multi-Touch 2.0 will be available by mid year.

If there's an event soon and such a device is announced, will you still state 'last we checked it was a work-in-progress'?! Sure, it's just wind and it's got you covered. Sort of.
post #13 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

We're probably a long way from replacing the tried-and-true mouse and keyboard... but someday it will happen. The same-old controls won't be the standard until the end of time.

It's good to see Apple looking ahead, even if change comes as slowly as I expect. The "tactile feedback" aspect interests me.

When the first tablets were coming out waaaaay back in 1990 or so, I remember getting really excited about them. It seemed like such a perfect kind of device. I remember telling a classmate how pen input was going to be The Way. He said it wasn't gonna happen and pointed out how much faster we type than write. Turned out he was right and I was wrong. For certain things, writing is okay, and sometimes even more appropriate. But the human-computer bandwidth.... it's just too low with a pen. And although I adore my iPhone, I don't think multitouch changes that enough. The only thing with higher human-computer bandwidth that a keyboard is Voice.

When voice works, the keyboard can disappear.

But I'm old enough to remember how long we've been looking forward to THAT ONE, too.

I think you're right, though, that the mouse-and-keyboard won't be the standard for eternity. Maybe half that
post #14 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Or The Matrix Reloaded.

At risk of sounding like a complete geek I'd like to point out that they had this in Startrek the Next Generation before the Matrix or Minority Report... apple are a bit slow to catch on to be honest...
post #15 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptdavep View Post

At risk of sounding like a complete geek I'd like to point out that they had this in Startrek the Next Generation before the Matrix or Minority Report... apple are a bit slow to catch on to be honest...

The story was written in the mid-50s. Did Dick write about it back then or was added for the big screen?
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post #16 of 89
Very cool.

I can't wait to see Macs with these features. Hopefully we get some insight at WWDC 2208.
post #17 of 89
Sounds like they are seriously trying to address the 'age-old' issue of mouse/keyboard discontinuity. If eliminated, computer work could take on a whole new level of efficiency.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #18 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by lidofido View Post

Like Marshall said. I had a fingerworks board (three actually) and those things were beyond awesome, though the learning curve at the beginning could be pretty bad (not a lot of tactile feedback).

FYI, for those of you thinking this is the beginning of a matrix or minority report interface, hate to tell you this, but those of us lucky enough to have fingerworks boards were doing this years ago. I mean I would be spinning windows and saving files and sending stuff off with perl and applescripts with flicks of my fingers and twists of my hands; I could interact with a workstation far faster than with two hands on a keyboard and the occasional mouse movement (and this is coming from a command line junkie).

You don't know how sublime it can be to save a document just by closing your fingers, or bring up an open dialog box just by turning your fingers in one direction (like you were popping open a bottle), or send a file off somewhere by flicking your fingers in some direction... so while I'm still bitter about Apple absorbing Fingerworks and seemingly not going anywhere with them very rapidly (the stuff you can do on an iphone with gestures was like 1% of what you could do on a Fingerworks board), I'm hoping this is the start of a return to form.

Still have mine. Still enjoying it. Hoping for an Apple version soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marshall View Post

I always wanted one of those, and if Apple made it as a stand-alone input device (for mac and PC) I'm sure they would sell like hotcakes.

Nooooo! No soup for Windows! The Mighty Mouse doesn't have full functionality with Windows. Neither do Apple's keyboards. I'm selfish. Keep this another Mac exclusive.
post #19 of 89
Humans are the shit. Take that dolphins.

Looking forward to seeing this sometime before WWDC 09. Group this kind of technology with the motion/light sensors and some low power chips and 3G/WiMax wireless technology and we have won
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post #20 of 89
The QWERTY Layout dates back to the late 19th Century and the Mouse is in its 5th decade of life... time to move on yeah?

Two of my senior projects out of school we're focused on the archaic input devices we use and how our productivity and creativity has been limited by the devices which are themselves limited.
post #21 of 89
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Originally Posted by CDonG4 View Post

The QWERTY Layout dates back to the late 19th Century and the Mouse is in its 5th decade of life... time to move on yeah?

Two of my senior projects out of school we're focused on the archaic input devices we use and how our productivity and creativity has been limited by the devices which are themselves limited.

Your projects sound really interesting! You got them kicking about in digital form anywhere??
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post #22 of 89
especially for ergonomic sake. As a recent Graphic Design graduate, I spend eight+ hours a day using a keyboard and mouse. I started getting hand cramps just 3 months into my job and decided to give the Wacom pen and tablet a try. Though it eased the cramping in my wrist, the learning curve to using it like a mouse (vs. illustrating with it) was a slow one.

It won't be for a while, but I can totally see the keyboard and mouse replaced with a simple, super flat touchscreen with hordes of additional functionality. However, simple things I use all the time, like quick, multiple, consecutive keyboard shortcuts might be slowed down due to lack of being able to feel the keys.
post #23 of 89
I don't think this is as far off as people think. The fact that multitouch is available on an small device like the iPhone makes it much easier to upscale to larger portable or desktop iterations; rather than if they had started with giant multitouch surfaces and had to develop the technology to scale them down.

I imagine the real challenge here for Apple engineers is developing this new keyboard language. Again, Apple's goal isn't just to put it out there, but to do so in a way which makes the user process better and easier.

Since the release of the iPhone people had been thinking about how this would perpetuate up to mac's other computers. The idea of multitouch on an ACD or iMac screen is impractical. People don't want to work with their arms stretched out in front of them, and I also don't think we're going to see the next generation of computers where everyone is looking "down" at their screen on the table. Comfort of viewing and hand placement do not coincide, so I think we're going to be with a separated "viewer" and "input" device for a while.

I knew Apple was on the right rack when they talked about the interface changing to meet the needs of the application.

Imagine this: Open your MacBook and what you find is for all intents and purposes TWO screens, instead of a screen and a keyboard. The top screen will continue to serve it's current function- to allow the user to view the result of their input at a comfortable angle. The "keyboard" screen will be a completely amorphous interface: a keyboard when typing, blank sheet for drawing-- a specialized interface for whatever program you use. Audio programs get a mixing board and knobs, editors get a mixture of new and old tabletop film editing controls. Each program's interface eliminates the clutter of unnecessary buttons, and each button is labeled with it's actual function, rather than having to remember keyboard shortcuts or keystroke combinations to execute complex commands.

Desktops would be similar, with the elimination of the keyboard and mouse for this new tablet-style interface.

As I said, I don't think this is too far off. In fact, I can't think of a reason why if Apple released one of these today, that I couldn't plug it into my MacPro right now, save for a software update that installs the programs necessary on my machine. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple wasn't making plans to release this as early as 2010- maybe even sooner? Again, we already have the technology in our hands now-- literally!
post #24 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by amac4me View Post

Very cool.

I can't wait to see Macs with these features. Hopefully we get some insight at WWDC 2208.

I really hope we don't have to wait 200 years for this!
post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11thIndian View Post

I don't think this is as far off as people think. The fact that multitouch is available on an small device like the iPhone makes it much easier to upscale to larger portable or desktop iterations; rather than if they had started with giant multitouch surfaces and had to develop the technology to scale them down.

I imagine the real challenge here for Apple engineers is developing this new keyboard language. Again, Apple's goal isn't just to put it out there, but to do so in a way which makes the user process better and easier.

Since the release of the iPhone people had been thinking about how this would perpetuate up to mac's other computers. The idea of multitouch on an ACD or iMac screen is impractical. People don't want to work with their arms stretched out in front of them, and I also don't think we're going to see the next generation of computers where everyone is looking "down" at their screen on the table. Comfort of viewing and hand placement do not coincide, so I think we're going to be with a separated "viewer" and "input" device for a while.

I knew Apple was on the right rack when they talked about the interface changing to meet the needs of the application.

Imagine this: Open your MacBook and what you find is for all intents and purposes TWO screens, instead of a screen and a keyboard. The top screen will continue to serve it's current function- to allow the user to view the result of their input at a comfortable angle. The "keyboard" screen will be a completely amorphous interface: a keyboard when typing, blank sheet for drawing-- a specialized interface for whatever program you use. Audio programs get a mixing board and knobs, editors get a mixture of new and old tabletop film editing controls. Each program's interface eliminates the clutter of unnecessary buttons, and each button is labeled with it's actual function, rather than having to remember keyboard shortcuts or keystroke combinations to execute complex commands.

Desktops would be similar, with the elimination of the keyboard and mouse for this new tablet-style interface.

As I said, I don't think this is too far off. In fact, I can't think of a reason why if Apple released one of these today, that I couldn't plug it into my MacPro right now, save for a software update that installs the programs necessary on my machine. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple wasn't making plans to release this as early as 2010- maybe even sooner? Again, we already have the technology in our hands now-- literally!

Maybe you're right. I personally think it's further away, but I wouldn't complain at all if you turned out to be right and I was wrong.
post #26 of 89
Those of us who have been in favor of this for a while will hope to see it soon.

I'm sure that a keyboard could still be used with this. The best of two worlds.

As someone who has used tablets since the late '80's, I find them to be very useful. I also suppose that it's something like when keyboards first arrived in the 19th century. They were very bad, jammed up constantly, hence the QWERTY layout, etc. People didn't like them, and it was said to lower people's standards, morals, and was the cause of a whole world of other depravities.

We're hearing about the same thing about these multitouch keyboards, but it won't last.

Without our focus being around keyboards in front of us, the tablet monitor could be mounted close, and low, at a slope of about 30 degrees. This would solve a lot of ergonomic problems with the monitor as well.

If the keyboard is needed, it could be pulled out from underneath, as many keyboards are now. No problem there.

An iMac could be used this way, with the "chin" being used as a handrest, finally eliminating the arguments against it being there.
post #27 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11thIndian View Post

Imagine this: Open your MacBook and what you find is for all intents and purposes TWO screens, instead of a screen and a keyboard. The top screen will continue to serve it's current function- to allow the user to view the result of their input at a comfortable angle. The "keyboard" screen will be a completely amorphous interface: a keyboard when typing, blank sheet for drawing-- a specialized interface for whatever program you use. Audio programs get a mixing board and knobs, editors get a mixture of new and old tabletop film editing controls. Each program's interface eliminates the clutter of unnecessary buttons, and each button is labeled with it's actual function, rather than having to remember keyboard shortcuts or keystroke combinations to execute complex commands.

So like for instance a generic program like Garageband would have say on the main viewing screen the tracks in the order they appear today, though on the bottom user input screen you might have a bar at the top that is the tempo, reverse, play/pause, forward and record, volume, etc. below could be programmed to be a keyboard, or a chaos pad.. a slide on a guitar or a slider for some weird effect, and maybe on the right and left are tabs, and if you tap and slide them over like you would scrolling for contacts on an iPhone, your midi music scroll, the notes or modulation would slide over, or maybe a set of drums... oh me oh my...

i like this idea already!
post #28 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11thIndian View Post

I don't think this is as far off as people think. The fact that multitouch is available on an small device like the iPhone makes it much easier to upscale to larger portable or desktop iterations; rather than if they had started with giant multitouch surfaces and had to develop the technology to scale them down.
<snip>
As I said, I don't think this is too far off. In fact, I can't think of a reason why if Apple released one of these today, that I couldn't plug it into my MacPro right now, save for a software update that installs the programs necessary on my machine. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple wasn't making plans to release this as early as 2010- maybe even sooner? Again, we already have the technology in our hands now-- literally!

The real limitation I see is tactile response. Without it you won't be replacing the keyboard anytime soon, and even with it I don't see it going away. While the iPhone rocks I can't do SMS without looking at the screen for every character. I believe Pioneer has made a touchscreen car stereo with a tactile energy field to simulate the button locations.

What I foresee is that a new input technology won't obsolete an older one (at least not right away) but will compliment it. Like how the advent of the mouse complimented the keyboard. For instance, a MacBook Pro with a typical keyboard and display in the usual location, but a trackpad as wide as the keyboard, that is OLED and has tactile response included.

Tactile response could even go so far as to increase the electrical output as you choose a screen option to mimic the sensation of the slight resistance offered by a physical mouse button or keyboard key.
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post #29 of 89
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Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

The only thing with higher human-computer bandwidth that a keyboard is Voice.

When voice works, the keyboard can disappear.

Actually, I don't agree. Oh, maybe in the far future, when computers have genuinely intelligent AI and you can hold a conversation with them, like in Star Trek TNG; maybe then the primary interface will be voice. But while we still have to drag windows around, launch applications and do other menial computing tasks, there's no way that voice commands are going to be more important than keyboard etc.

Certainly, speaking as a writer and editor, although I can probably speak faster than I can type for short periods, I definitely produce better written work by typing at the keyboard than I would if I attempted to speak what I wanted to say. It uses different parts of the brain; I'm much better at marshalling my thoughts when I'm writing than when I'm speaking. I suppose I could get used to it over time, but it'd be a different way of working. Besides, typing is a private activity, whereas speaking at a computer certainly isn't.

Anyway, to get back to the point, I think that the most interesting potential here is for a truly adaptable input interface that can be reconfigured to suit whatever purpose is at hand. The QWERTY keyboard, regardless of how many people are facile with it, has always been a cumbersome input method. Indeed, it was designed to be exactly that: as many people know, this keyboard layout came from mechanical typewriter days when input had to be slowed down to prevent the mechanism from jamming, and the layout was chosen to be as unnatural as possible in order to achieve the goal of slowing down the typist.

So it seems to me pretty obvious that, in due course, there will be a new input device with a dynamic interface, that can become a QWERTY keyboard or a Dvorak keyboard or an alphabetical-order keyboard or something far more exotic. Anything can be achieved by programming it in software, and different applications could have their own dynamic layouts. This is, after all, only taking the approach that already exists in the iPhone and extending it further for the greater capabilities of full computers.

The possibilities of a reconfigurable touch-sensitive display device for input are pretty obvious, and if gestures are built into the device as well, then so much the better. What intrigues me most, though, is the possibility of tactile feedback. A device that could sculpt its own surface somehow, and provide at least some measure of motion feedback for the user's fingers, would solve a lot of problems. (There's no mention of surface-sculpting here, but I'm sure I've read something along these lines on AppleInsider previously, and tactile feedback has to be achieved via some kind of motion, presumably.)

Seriously, I wonder if the new laptop-style Pro keyboards that Apple is now supplying with all its new machines are attempting to prepare us for something of this nature. Tactile feedback from a device of the kind we're speculating about here might be possible, but it would only be available to a limited extent; much less than more traditional keyboard keys. I think it's possible that by getting its users used to the limited travel of the keys in its flat laptop-style keyboards now, Apple is training us to expect less finger travel when typing. Thus its users will be more ready to accept a 'keyboard' of this nature when eventually it comes.
post #30 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by amac4me View Post

Very cool.

I can't wait to see Macs with these features. Hopefully we get some insight at WWDC 2208.

i'll be dead by them, would you take notes for me and forward to my estate
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post #31 of 89
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Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Or The Matrix Reloaded.

Well, you already live in a vat. Surely someone has told you by now. What more do you want?
post #32 of 89
11" Mac touch FTW!!!
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post #33 of 89
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Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

But it sounds like... Apple ... has gone beyond multitouch alone and really has come up with a comprehensive alternative to the traditional keyboard and mouse.

yeah. I've often wondered why someone hadn't developed "input recognition" the sameway some apps master "speech recognition". For the speech recognition software you speak a proscribed number of sounds and the software "learns" how to interpret your speech. Couldn't a multitouch pad have software that directed you to touchtype a number of words and characters on the keyless pad: from that input it would modify the key positions to match your variations in reach--thus you'd put your fingers on the multitouch pad, maybe type your two index fingers to indicate you were at a "start" or "rest" position, and then type on. Would work only for touch-typing and its specific gestures, though, just as speech recog is based on a specific spoken language.
post #34 of 89
This is interesting but I am still not expecting this to be implimented in tablet form for a while still. In fact, we might not, if some of the ideas people are discussing here are true.

I think we will see this implimented into an input device for a desktop first. That seems to be what this patent refers to. Intergrating it into a portable form will require a lot of work to get things small enough and light enough. Even then, it might not be a tablet but just a dual screen notebook as per above.

I say this, though, having just bought a tablet last night.
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post #35 of 89
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Originally Posted by Rogzilla View Post

This is interesting but I am still not expecting this to be implimented in tablet form for a while still. In fact, we might not, if some of the ideas people are discussing here are true.

I think we will see this implimented into an input device for a desktop first.

In my opinion no way not a chance. Portable devices are where it's at. It will definitely hit a multi-touch tablet device first.
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post #36 of 89
I dunno, Ireland. I respect your opinion, I do...and I am with you for the desire for a Mac tablet eventually...and I think this is the tech to get us there...but I don't see this being implimented in tablet form first.

The way the patent is describing the technology, in particular the size, it seems like it isn't meant to be used for a portable. Look at the diagram. Read the emphasis on this being designed for a curved, ergonomic surface. Far too large to be portable like a tablet. No, this will go to the iMac/Mac Pros first.

Now, I am certain Apple will be able to create a portable variation, but what it will be, neither you or I know. It may be a tablet slate...it may be a tablet convertable...it may be a dual screened notebook.
The iSlate cometh
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The iSlate cometh
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post #37 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnathan View Post

So like for instance a generic program like Garageband would have say on the main viewing screen the tracks in the order they appear today, though on the bottom user input screen you might have a bar at the top that is the tempo, reverse, play/pause, forward and record, volume, etc. below could be programmed to be a keyboard, or a chaos pad.. a slide on a guitar or a slider for some weird effect, and maybe on the right and left are tabs, and if you tap and slide them over like you would scrolling for contacts on an iPhone, your midi music scroll, the notes or modulation would slide over, or maybe a set of drums... oh me oh my...

i like this idea already!

Exactly. The interesting programing challenge comes in the fact that now each program has to design it's interface as well- an extension of what's done for the display.

In fact I could see the need for 2 sizes of this new "keyboard". One for consumer users which would be about the same size as today's keyboards, perhaps a bit "taller"; and a pro version about the size of a audio board, more appropriate for music, painting, and video editing- essentially more real-estate to work with for more involved programs.
post #38 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogzilla View Post

I dunno, Ireland. I respect your opinion, I do...and I am with you for the desire for a Mac tablet eventually...and I think this is the tech to get us there...but I don't see this being implimented in tablet form first.

The way the patent is describing the technology, in particular the size, it seems like it isn't meant to be used for a portable. Look at the diagram. Read the emphasis on this being designed for a curved, ergonomic surface. Far too large to be portable like a tablet. No, this will go to the iMac/Mac Pros first.

Now, I am certain Apple will be able to create a portable variation, but what it will be, neither you or I know. It may be a tablet slate...it may be a tablet convertable...it may be a dual screened notebook.

And I appreciate your respect!

You do know the iPhone originated from tablet research don't you? The Apple guys were researching and making tablet prototypes for about a year, when the suggested to Steve they thought they could successfully bring this user interface to a phone, thus eliminating the needs for all those buttons. That gamble paid off. I think it is without a doubt in my mind going to materialize in a tablet first. Likely around Macworld 2009, or possibly even earlier.

I'd say we'll see that MT desktop keyboard at Macworld 2010, not much earlier.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #39 of 89
This patent, combined with the Patent for the keyboard with LED (read:configurable) keys will make for a very, very interesting Mac in the near future!

Combine that with a Multi-Touch screen for iMac and it screams sold out before you can say "nano!".

I can see the LED keyboard being standard, with the MT keyboard being more of a Pro Upgrade!





post #40 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazabrit View Post

Humans are the shit. Take that dolphins.

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