I'm no photoshop genius.. but I have an idea? (multi-touch keyboard)

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Now that we know multi-touch technology will be part of Leopard, and Steve spoke so highly of it - he basically said it was as important as the mouse, I have a strong feeling Apple is cooking up a multi-touch keyboard as the future interaction device for desktop Mac's. I think this will be the next step (no pun intended) and it will happen this year. I also think there's a high possibility that these multi-touch keyboards will replace the mouse too. If someone wants to drag their Mac's cursor they'll use one finger in the keyboard's touch screen. Left click - tap with one finger, right click - tap woth two fingers. As I've already stated a few times, and as you all know, these keyboards could display anything, absolutely anything. QWERTY or DVORAK it doesn't matter, go to keyboard preferences. Even the dock could be dragged/put onto the keyboard and act as semi-permanent launch keys. The possibilities are endless, with the right set-up and implementation I think efficiency would accelerate exponentially.



Now here's the thing.. who's gonna try to tackle this mock-up?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Now that we know multi-touch technology will be part of Leopard, and Steve spoke so highly of it - he basically said it was as important as the mouse, I have a strong feeling Apple is cooking up a multi-touch keyboard as the future interaction device for desktop Mac's. I think this will be the next step (no pun intended) and it will happen this year. I also think there's a high possibility that these multi-touch keyboards will replace the mouse too. If someone wants to drag their Mac's cursor they'll use one finger in the keyboard's touch screen. Left click - tap with one finger, right click - tap woth two fingers. As I've already stated a few times, and as you all know, these keybaord could display anything, absolutely anything. QWERTY or DVORAK it doesn't matter, go to keyboard preferences. Even the dock could be dragged/put onto the keyboard and act as semi-permanent launch keys. The possibilities are endless, with the right set-up and implementation I think efficiency would accelerate exponentially.



    Now here's the thing.. who's gonna try to tackle this mock-up?



    http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus/
  • Reply 2 of 31
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Joe I said multi-touch, not the optimus. The optimus is basically a keyboard with programmable buttons. This will be a device roughly the same size as the existing Apple keyboard, albeit thinner, and would be fully covered with a 'Multi-touch' touch screen. My feelings are this device would replace the mouse too, the optimus couldn't do that.
  • Reply 3 of 31
    http://www.fingerworks.com/



    a lot of people speculate that apple bought this company and that's why they stopped supplying products a while back.
  • Reply 4 of 31
    fishafisha Posts: 126member
    i very much doubt it that you would get a complete keyboard replace by a touch panel.



    Have you ever tried to type on a keyboard thats displayed on a touchscreen?



    Irrespective of speed and responsiveness, there is a distinct lack of tactile feedback through your fingers to tell you whether you have properly pressed the key or not. Also there will be a lack of tactile feedback to say whether you have accidently hit 2 buttons instead of one ( a common mistake when typing )



    Whilst a lot of folk like the Mac keyboard, to me the best by a mile is the old IBM buckle spring keyboards. Built like tanks, quite noisy to use, but just a really really good feel to the keys. Latex folding dome keyboards just dont work the same.





    But back to your point ... to a degree, i think there is some merit in what you say. Its hard to discount that multitouch is going to play a part in the future of computing. The iPhone perhaps being the first mainstream application to be show as a definitive off the shelf product at a reasonably affordable price. I know multitouch has been around for a while in various forms visible on youtube and the like, but they are all concepts / bespoke.



    So if you want to keep the keyboard to type on, but want to add multi-touch, then where could you put it?



    Well, personally, i dont use much of the number pad in general computing use ... do you?( assuming your not a spreadsheet person )



    I'd ditch the numpad on the side of the keyboard and make that a multitouch pad. Means you move your hands less between the keyboard and mouse, can navigate and do all the gestures easily.



    You could also have a feature to enable the area as a number pad. perhaps a bit like num-lock button, you have a num-pad button which shows up the numbers on the touch area via a backlight, and then just touching the keys would perform the numpad functions.



    You could also include a stylus with the keyboard . . . oh look an instant basic graphics tablet. It would be easy to make the tablet sense whether it was a stylus touching it or a finger.







    To me that would be smart. Imagine it. Buy a new iMac for you home . . . comes with a great multitouch OS ( accessible through a new multitouch keyboard as a $50 upgrade option ), new iLife software with photo handling possibly basic editing ( usable through the stylus ), all in one off the shelf product?





    Then imagine you annouce it with adobe's new software suite.....
  • Reply 5 of 31
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    @ fisha, great idea. Firstly I would like to say that on the iPhone when Steve pressed the keys on the keypad to email or text they expanded, the one he pressed grew in size, so you will know if you pressed one or not, and furthermore the software could stop you from pressing two keys at once, it could detect the slightest differnce in timing only making the key you touched first enlarge. What you said about the numberpad being a touchpad, I think if Apple did such a thing they would at least make the touchpad from the F14 key over - it would need to be at least that big IMO to replace the mouse and to give enough room for gestures for a large computer display.
  • Reply 6 of 31
    fishafisha Posts: 126member
    I dont think it would necessarily have to completely replace the mouse, just be more of a jesture thing mainly. For things like scrolling, page navigation, zooms, rotates etc etc.



    Quote:

    when Steve pressed the keys on the keypad to email or text they expanded, the one he pressed grew in size, so you will know if you pressed one or not, and furthermore the software could stop you from pressing two keys at once, it could detect the slightest differnce in timing only making the key you touched first enlarge





    Yes. But there is a principle difference in the interaction. With the iPhone you're looking at the iPhone , the input device, so your eyes are already pointing in that direction. Its assumed that this is the case, so the visual key enlargement is the feedback to what your typing.



    With a keyboard, thats generally not the case. The focus of your eyes is assumed to be the display and that for the most part you do a form of touch-typing. With that touch typing, you often glance at the keyboard to just make sure your starting to type on the right key for a phrase, but then you look up at the display when you type the phrase ( well , at least thats what I do ). Then every few words, you glance back down to check your finger is about to hit the right key. The feedback with this situation is that letters appear on the screen, but also if you hit 2 keys, your fingers instantly know . . . you just know you've done it wrong , and thats only through the tactile feel of the keys actually moving. I just dont how a touch pad could replicate that.
  • Reply 7 of 31
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Well if they release such a thing I doubt they would force you to buy it, they would still offer regular input devices as an option.
  • Reply 8 of 31
    fishafisha Posts: 126member
    Agreed, I reckon it would be an upgrade option . . . similar to whether you want to upgrade to a wireless keyboard and mouse when buying a machine.
  • Reply 9 of 31
    a few thoughts... possibly rambling





    multi touch keyboard... ZX81 ALLLL OVER AGAIN i didnt like them then and i wouldnt be that convinced NOW. //efficiency would accelerate exponentially.// NOT on a ZX81 HORRIBLE HORRIBLE touch keyboard.



    i HATE track pads, and im not alone in that.



    whats to mock up? honestly it will be a changeable SCREEN it will look like a screen and will have a different image on it dependant on what purpose you use it for... so imagine a screen... simple enough.. hardly needs a picture to explain it.... does it?



    the optimus however is SO drool worthy it IS like an apple product, it looks stunning and it would HELP you (in certain situations)... but its UN Apple like as well, as in, its hardly NEEDED to increase productivity... its more like a FAILED Apple product... but its STILL lovely, IF i could afford to blow the cash on one i think i would. but mainly ONLY for the "COOL" factor.



    since 1984 there have been 23 years of people getting used to and accepting mice, the tech hasnt stood still either! i can do so much more with my two button scroll wheel mouse NOW than i could ever do with a single button Mac mouse. it you consider that Sony and M$ keep adding buttons to their game controllers, then why are nintendo taking them OFF theirs?



    ease of use.



    a touch screen keyboard with CHANGEABLE interface surfaces requires you to "carry a bunch of mental templates around in your head", where as a mouse never changes function, nor does a keyboard. you ever have to "RE MAP" in your head when the keyboard you are using has the "@"key in a different place?



    I believe that PART of Apple user interface rules are/is "Ease of USE" so the SIMPLE and unchanging interface will win over the changing "template" a user has to carry around in their head just to make use of.



    of course a way round these problems can be found, but will it result in mass acceptance? i remain to be convinced.



    mass acceptance is required in order for mass adpotion to occur.



    ----



    Touch screen iMac... you and others dont think it will work because poor little arms may get tired i forsee touch screen iMacs set up like a modern news readers UNDERdesk prompter.. the screen is not set up at the usual angle of 80-90 degrees to horizontal, but rather more like 15-25 degrees to horizontal, allowing the hands easy access to the on screen "buttons"
  • Reply 10 of 31
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Trendannoyer View Post


    Whats to mock up? honestly it will be a changeable SCREEN it will look like a screen and will have a different image on it dependant on what purpose you use it for... so imagine a screen... simple enough.. hardly needs a picture to explain it.... does it?



    Sometimes people would say that idea would never work... but when you show them the idea they would imigine differently - even if it's just a keyboard shaped display. Sometimes it's easier to show someone something, than to explain it to them, some just simply can't imagine what doesn't already exist. Mock-ups can only add to the experience and discussion. It's like why when someone invents something, they always make a prototype. Even the guy who made that spider graber, he could have explained it, but he made an example to help him get his point across - he's a millionaire now. Mock-ups always help!
  • Reply 11 of 31
    dazabritdazabrit Posts: 273member
    I would find it quite useful as a method of feeding the larger/main display.



    The Finder, Spotlight, Input Methods etc could be displayed on the smaller touchscreen in some kind of Quicksilver fashion combined with Core animated Tabs and Expose functions.



    Then you launch/feed the full screen apps/documents on the main display.



    It may sound strange but I would find it a very effective way of working.
  • Reply 12 of 31
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dazabrit View Post


    I would find it quite useful as a method of feeding the larger/main display.



    The Finder, Spotlight, Input Methods etc could be displayed on the smaller touchscreen in some kind of Quicksilver fashion combined with Core animated Tabs and Expose functions.



    Then you launch/feed the full screen apps/documents on the main display.



    It may sound strange but I would find it a very effective way of working.



    Makes sense to me.
  • Reply 13 of 31
    dazabritdazabrit Posts: 273member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Makes sense to me.



    I'll have a crack at the mockup later tonight
  • Reply 14 of 31
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dazabrit View Post


    I'll have a crack at the mockup later tonight



    Great to hear, I'm looking forward to it.
  • Reply 15 of 31
    wircwirc Posts: 302member
    Poop on a stick! I brought this up in january, and people did before me too. See:

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=70695



    I guess good artists copy, and great artists steal, eh Ireland?
  • Reply 16 of 31
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fisha View Post


    Whilst a lot of folk like the Mac keyboard, to me the best by a mile is the old IBM buckle spring keyboards. Built like tanks, quite noisy to use, but just a really really good feel to the keys. Latex folding dome keyboards just dont work the same.



    I don't like the Apple keyboards but I'm not convinced that the old clicky mechanisms are significantly better. I'm still using an MS Natural keyboard, there's quite a difference in key feel and feedback between my Apple and MS keyboards. I'd much rather type against a hard, nondescript surface than use Apple's desktop keyboards.
  • Reply 17 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I don't like the Apple keyboards but I'm not convinced that the old clicky mechanisms are significantly better. I'm still using an MS Natural keyboard, there's quite a difference in key feel and feedback between my Apple and MS keyboards. I'd much rather type against a hard, nondescript surface than use Apple's desktop keyboards.



    horses for courses.. i LOVE the current apple keyboard, best keyboard ive used IMO, i can FLY on the thing.... doesnt cure dyslexia though
  • Reply 18 of 31
    Yeah, I’m with Fisha on this one. I like my tactile feedback. I should imagine it would be much harder to touch type on a flat surface than on a traditional keyboard, one’s figures could easily shift out of line with the keymap. If you live in the UK, you can get an idea of what I’m saying by going to any HMV store and trying to type on one of those touch-screen terminals which allows you to sample the music before you buy it. It’s absolute hell.



    However, I do find the current full-size Apple keyboard a bit clunky and somehow ‘heavy’, it hurts my fingers after a while of typing (perhaps I just hit the keys too hard). Typing on my MacBook, however, is a totally different story. It’s a total dream. The keys are responsive, have just the right amount of travel and are sufficiently spaced so that I never really have to look at the keyboard when I type.



    There are also some other mega-wicked things about typing on the Mac, like the dead keys, which makes doing my French homework a breeze. Ã* é î œ ù. See. Entering accents and other characters not on the keyboard is a pain in the arse on PCs IMHO, you’d need to learn like 20 different Alt codes just for French, for example.



    Plus, curly quotes “La, la, la”.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wirc View Post


    Poop on a stick! I brought this up in january, and people did before me too. See:

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=70695



    I guess good artists copy, and great artists steal, eh Ireland?



    I had no idea, so I didn't really copy ya
  • Reply 20 of 31
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Max let's see what Apple comes up with, I personally think they'll do something great if they think of going in this direction.
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