Inside the multitouch FingerWorks tech in Apple's tablet

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  • Reply 141 of 161
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacJello View Post


    Pick up a smallish, thin hardback book (whatever size you think the iPad will be). Hold it between your palms. Amazingly, all of your fingers are free to tap on the back of the book, while your thumbs are free to tap on the front. This does not work with an iPhone because it's too small. All we need now is a typing method that makes use of these freely tapping fingers. It will need to be a new method, probably one that does not require tapping in 26 different spots to choose letters, but there is no principled reason this can't be done.



    Actually, your fingers wouldn't have to find the right keys potentially - once your fingers touch the back of the device, the tablet could recognise that as the "home" position (with the home keys directly under them). Thus it could then also tell when you were clicking closer towards the centre of the tablet or closer to the sides.



    Further to this, they have patents to recognise thumb touches vs finger touches - similar technology might be able to be used to determine whether you're touching with a flat finger (like the middle row of the keyboard) or an extended finger or closer to your finger nail. Not sure how well it would work, but there are certainly differences in how my finger hits my keys in different rows now.



    Lastly, in Uni I remember studying alternative keyboards very briefly. For scuba diving they'd been working on (in the 90s) a chord keyboard, so professional divers could type in a log with one hand. Some letters required a single key, others required 3 simultaneous keys. And iirc it was done without seeing the keyboard. So there are some new options out there, but something like this has a learning curve!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ArticulatedArm View Post


    Think about it.. what I am really describing is really like a modern version of the paper and book. Your tablet is the paper and your primary PC is the book.. only they can both interact with each other. And the paper can even function as a keyboard.



    I thought Microsoft's concept video of a 2 sided touch screen worked something like that, but on a subsequent viewing I might have read to much into it. My thoughts were that the right side was your notepad, where notes were created. The left side was the reference material - websites, calendars, contacts, books whatever - any of which could be dragged (or cut and dragged) across into the notes.



    If Apple wants to make combined interface with a Mac, I'd hope they come up with a much more basic tablet - preferably no battery, no SSD memory, designed to lay flat instead of be held, (and perhaps using the Mac processing power rather than have it's own chip)... plus the Mac screen should be touch as well. Basically, I don't see that as a good use of a portable Tablet.
  • Reply 142 of 161
    successsuccess Posts: 1,040member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post


    Don't you mean horn? Ooops!



    No I meant corn
  • Reply 143 of 161
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    I hope so too, I have my own grievances with the new highly reflective screens, but Apple has proven it places the design of it's hardware above ergonomics. Luckily there was a massive outpouring of hostility concerning that and Apple has offered a few of the older options.



    Isn't there a third party keyboard that makes your job a lot easier?



    I've seen external keyboards with the crappy generic laptop trackpads. That's it. Nobody wants to innovate beyond the standard keyboard + mouse paradigm.
  • Reply 144 of 161
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    You make two contradictory statements. What is innovative about releasing a product that has already been released by another company?



    Making it better? There were MP3 players before the iPod, yet Apple perfected the product.



    Which two statements that I made are contradictory?



    Quote:

    You also betray an astonishing misunderstanding of technology from Apple. Apple has never sold technology for technology's sake. It sells technology that "just works" for its customers.



    What is it about a keyboard-mouse trackpad that wouldn't "just work" ?



    Quote:

    There are notable exceptions, but they are just that--exceptions. Apple is indeed an innovative company. However, its singular goal is to bring intuitive technology to the masses. If the technology exists, then Apple uses it. If it does not exist, then Apple invents it. Then there are those cases where Apple takes an available technology and makes it usable.



    Precisely. The technology to make a keyboard-mouse trackpad exists. Apple has the knowhow to perfect it. How do any of my statements contradict this?



    All I'm saying is that up to this point, Apple has been unusually conservative with the technology that they've acquired from FingerWorks, at least in the desktop/laptop area.
  • Reply 145 of 161
    I totally get what you are saying. Very interesting. I hadn't even thought of anything like that. For a writer it would be fantastic. walking thru the park just writing away.

    Interesting. World news is depressing now, glad we got an Apple surprise to look forward to. This one is supposed to be their jaw-dropper. It's been polished on for what, 5 years??



    It probably isn't designed to compete with high end input devices for precision artwork, but I bet you'll be able to do plenty.

    I hope it does have the kind of input you describe. I will get one.

    don't mind the learning at all, it's my favorite thing to do, to learn to use a new TOOL!!!!!



    Palomine

    waiting for the Apple electric car.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacJello View Post


    When I think about back-typing, I think of it as a completely new form of typing. [[ [snipped]]



    Yes, this would require learning. (And I don't doubt that a standard touch keyboard will also be available for those who don't want to master this skill.) But the thing is to see the potential of this form of typing. It would allow me to sit in my favorite chair and type! I could lay in bed and type! I could pace the house and type! Laptops are really very awkward unless you have a table in front of you, and even then they are imperfect. To hold a screen in your hands and type on it as fast as you can tap your fingers?that would be stunning!



    Easy, rapid text input is an essential key to making a universally useful tablet. Let's face it, language is the medium of communication with each other and with computers. Inputting language into a device as easily and rapidly as possible is essential for most tasks. It's the one element that is so far missing from all tablet-style devices. If the iPad does not solve this problem it will still be an excellent all-purpose media-consuming device for print, video, music and gaming. But, if it does solve the text input problem it will replace laptops. Indeed, it could be the biggest computing revolution since the mouse.



  • Reply 146 of 161
    Spliff Monkey has the right idea: this thing needs to have a stylus.



    Unlike Apple loyalists, who have already decided to buy this thing sight-unseen, the general population is going to be asking "What is this for?" before they put down their money.



    If Apple answers on Wednesday that the Apple tablet is for listening to music, watching movies, reading books, and playing games with finger only input, I know a whole lot of people who are going to give this a pass.



    A stylus is essential for students and artists, two groups who have a very good answer to the "What is it for?" question.



    For students, a stylus is important for taking notes, drawing diagrams, writing equations, annotating textbooks, and other activities which didn't make sense on an iPhone, but are perfect for a tablet. Another article on AI says Apple is in talks with textbook publishers to bring textbooks to the tablet. That's great and all, but it's worthless for me and almost every other student I know if I can't mark them up. If Apple wants to gain market share back in the academic community, a stylus for this device is essential, I cannot stress that enough.



    I know some people have advocated a stylus gesture where you write with a phantom pen. As someone who has used a dual pen/touch screen (Latitude XT) I can see several problems with this, including pressure sensitivity, pen angle, tip friction, etc. These are all things very important to writing on a tablet, which you just won't get from a phantom pen gesture.



    Other people have mentioned third party stylus support, which is also a problem, since while writing most people lean their palms on the screen. If writing isn't supported by default, then there will be no build in palm rejection, and while writing the system will recognize the palm as an input.



    My gut feeling is this will have no stylus, based on Jobs' previous comments about them. Whether we see some sort of alternative means of stylus input is another question, which I think would be new and innovative, but ultimately overkill just to avoid the "inelegance" of a stylus.
  • Reply 147 of 161
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ModernMech View Post


    Spliff Monkey has the right idea: this thing needs to have a stylus.

    [?]

    If writing isn't supported by default, then there will be no build in palm rejection, and while writing the system will recognize the palm as an input.

    [?]

    My guy feeling is this will have no stylus, based on Jobs' previous comments about them. Whether we see some sort of alternative means of stylus input is another question, which I think would be new and innovative, but ultimately overkill just to avoid the "inelegance" of a stylus.



    You?re kind of all over the place here. Not requiring a stylus to do most tasked doesn?t not preclude an option for a stylus to be used for certain tasks bey certain people doing jobs.



    Palm resting is not a concern. That was addressed a long ago. You can test it on MB trackpads.
  • Reply 148 of 161
    Apple is in talks with textbook mfgs., is interested in medical input etc. OF course there will be a stylus you can use but it won't be required just to surf n stuff. Goin way out on a limb here? just wait and see what is unveiled. I'm not *just* an apple loyalist. Power user on Mac and PC, ok? I just like GOOD electronics. A stylus is a nobrainer, it will be available, trust me. You might need one, depending what you use the tablet FOR. Multitouch, though, will prove to be a godsend.





    [QUOTE=ModernMech;1555720]Spliff Monkey has the right idea: this thing needs to have a stylus.



    Unlike Apple loyalists, who have already decided to buy this thing sight-unseen, the general population is going to be asking "What is this for?" before they put down their money.



    If Apple answers on Wednesday that the Apple tablet is for listening to music, watching movies, reading books, and playing games with finger only input, I know a whole lot of people who are going to give this a pass.



    A stylus is essential for students and artists, two groups who have a very good answer to the "What is it for?" question.



    For students, a stylus is important for taking notes, drawing diagrams, writing equations, annotating textbooks, and other activities which didn't make sense on an iPhone, but are perfect for a tablet. Another article on AI says Apple is in talks with textbook publishers to bring textbooks to the tablet. That's great and all, but it's worthless for me and almost every other student I know if I can't mark them up. If Apple wants to gain market share back in the academic community, a stylus for this device is essential, I cannot stress that enough.



    [[snipped]]]
  • Reply 149 of 161
    The way I envision using a tablet to write I could actually see it as an improvement over writing with a pen/pencil/stylus -- if we weren't conditioned to use a writing implement.



    One of the problems with a writing implement is that when you hold it your hand and the tool obscure your view of where you are drawing or making your mark.



    The tablet could provide a solution to this... because you could use your 2 fingers that you use to hold the pen and have them open.



    In between your fingers when you touched the surface lines could be displayed showing something like a target symbol and it would show exactly where your mark was being made and you would have no obstruction from your hand and the pen.



    I think this may be far more precise if you weren't conditioned to use a pen and paper so young kids introduced to this way of working may really excel with it.
  • Reply 150 of 161
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Not requiring a stylus to do most tasked doesn’t not preclude an option for a stylus to be used for certain tasks bey certain people doing jobs.



    Well if there is no stylus included it kind of sets the whole tone of the presentation on Wednesday. Apple will tell us that the device is for content consumption, rather than content creation. Sure you may be able to do that down the line if a third party decides they want to support it through note taking applications and drawing applications, but what Apple really wants is us to buy this thing to be patrons of their online music/video/book store.
  • Reply 151 of 161
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ModernMech View Post


    Well if there is no stylus included it kind of sets the whole tone of the presentation on Wednesday. Apple will tell us that the device is for content consumption, rather than content creation. Sure you may be able to do that down the line if a third party decides they want to support it through note taking applications and drawing applications, but what Apple really wants is us to buy this thing to be patrons of their online music/video/book store.



    I would welcome a stylus but I feel this thread has convinced itself the upcoming device must absolutely have one or be damned. There is no way this device will run cs4 and become a high end workstation substitute so I am not sure there will be a desperate need in that respect. There is nothing in a 'tabletized' version of iPhoto that can't be done with finger input and I suspect most apps will be designed for finger input. I used to work in high end audio film post production dubbing studios some 15 years back where all input was done through touch and I never heard a single mixer technician complain. I certainly don't subscribe to the idea that without a stylus Apple is signalling hat the device is intended solely for content consumption. You don't need a stylus to type and most graphical content creation requires powerful machines at any rate. I think the device will be aimed and content 'interaction', and as previously stated I have my doubts that a stylus will be included.
  • Reply 152 of 161
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    funny how this thread has attracted many stylus fans. not to criticize. i'm sure they work for you, and that's good.



    but it is obsolete technology. Apple reinvents UI's, it does not do retro. no way it will try to bring th stylus back for the iThing.



    time for the Smartpen. that is current technology.
  • Reply 153 of 161
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    A part of me feels we won't see a stylus.



    Same here, especially because Jobs took extra steps to "yuuuch" the stylus in his first iPhone presentation.
  • Reply 154 of 161
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,802member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Wasn't there a reference recently to a multi-touch gesture that recognizes "forefinger and thumb pinched together" as text input? In the manner of holding a pen or pencil.



    Perhaps, when a finger and thumb are joined, a cursor comes up and hovers over the page, awaiting pressure on the surface to initiate touchdown:



    http://cradleme.com/CradleMe/Pinch_Cursor.html
  • Reply 155 of 161
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post


    funny how this thread has attracted many stylus fans. not to criticize. i'm sure they work for you, and that's good.



    but it is obsolete technology. Apple reinvents UI's, it does not do retro. no way it will try to bring th stylus back for the iThing.



    time for the Smartpen. that is current technology.



    We've been drawing pictures with "pointy things" for about 30 thousand years now. I'm pretty sure it's not going away and in fact one might argue it's a technology that we've evolved with.



    Smart pens only support the idea of a stylus with the tablet. Do you really think that a smart pen and a piece of paper should really outshine a tablet?



    I don't believe that if the tablet doesn't have a stylus it will fail by any means but, it is kind of "essential" to the concept of a tablet in my opinion and it might hurt sales if it didn't, but then again maybe the extra cost of that feature would have hurt sales more.
  • Reply 156 of 161
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Colorful splashes and sharp typewriter-style printing "Come see our latest creation" don't suggest any styli at all.
  • Reply 157 of 161
    Let's not forget Compaq's first Tablet, the Compaq Concerto - circa 1993.



    http://www.mvardon.com



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOcYltmPGZE



    Ok, is it me... or do the specifications for Compaq's Concerto "convertible- notebook- tablet- sound vaguely familiar? I knew this product pretty well - I had the opportunity to work on the marketing campaign behind this products launch, back in the last millenium, 1993. Yes. Nineteen hundred ninety-three... 17 years ago.
  • Reply 158 of 161
    richysrichys Posts: 160member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacJello View Post


    When I think about back-typing, I think of it as a completely new form of typing. Using a standard keyboard requires a lot of visual and/or tactile feedback because it depends on the position of your fingers as they choose between 30-50 keys. But if the device is smart enough, back-typing would not depend on the position of your fingers, but would require nothing more than tapping in place.



    ...



    Yes, this would require learning. (And I don't doubt that a standard touch keyboard will also be available for those who don't want to master this skill.) But the thing is to see the potential of this form of typing. It would allow me to sit in my favorite chair and type! I could lay in bed and type! I could pace the house and type! Laptops are really very awkward unless you have a table in front of you, and even then they are imperfect. To hold a screen in your hands and type on it as fast as you can tap your fingers?that would be stunning!



    Easy, rapid text input is an essential key to making a universally useful tablet. Let's face it, language is the medium of communication with each other and with computers. Inputting language into a device as easily and rapidly as possible is essential for most tasks. It's the one element that is so far missing from all tablet-style devices. If the iPad does not solve this problem it will still be an excellent all-purpose media-consuming device for print, video, music and gaming. But, if it does solve the text input problem it will replace laptops. Indeed, it could be the biggest computing revolution since the mouse.



    I'm not sure whether this is too much for Apple to push onto the average user, but I remember the Microwriter AgendA from the late 80s/early 90s. It was a fairly typical (i.e. crap) little PDA at the time, but had a special chord keyboard so that you could type one handed.



    Here's a link to the AgendA:

    http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/d...writer-AgendA/



    And here's how you typed on it (in some ways, maybe no harder than learning Graffiti on the Palm).

    http://www.bellaire.demon.co.uk/bell...key_codes.html



    I could see this working with a multi-touch area on the back (so you don't specifically have to locate your hands over some keys -- just hold the tablet how it's comfortable for you), and the front screen registering thumb touches. Your other hand (left or right, depending which way you swing) is then free to interact with the screen a la iPhone.
  • Reply 159 of 161
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichyS View Post


    I'm not sure whether this is too much for Apple to push onto the average user, but I remember the Microwriter AgendA from the late 80s/early 90s.



    I remember Speak & Spell.
  • Reply 160 of 161
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post


    We've been drawing pictures with "pointy things" for about 30 thousand years now. I'm pretty sure it's not going away and in fact one might argue it's a technology that we've evolved with.



    Smart pens only support the idea of a stylus with the tablet. Do you really think that a smart pen and a piece of paper should really outshine a tablet?



    I don't believe that if the tablet doesn't have a stylus it will fail by any means but, it is kind of "essential" to the concept of a tablet in my opinion and it might hurt sales if it didn't, but then again maybe the extra cost of that feature would have hurt sales more.



    smart pens replace the stylus completely. link to iGadget via bluetooth. write on any surface with or without ink and a hard copy. much more flexible than a stylus ever was. can do other tricks too.



    first tablet was a piece of stone, and first stylus was a chisel+mallet. technology moves on.
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