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A touch of tomorrow

As is often the case for me, Christmas shopping has given me the chance to look at all sorts of gadgets. (No, I’m not sure who to buy them for, but that isn’t the point.) The wealth of touch-based devices like the iPad, the Kindle Fire, the Galaxy Tab, and phones of all sorts is either incredibly exciting or amazingly confusing. Touch-based interfaces have moved well beyond the devices they started on and are showing up pretty much everywhere. Even my car (a Nissan Leaf) uses a touch interface. When I use a device with a screen, like my camera, and can’t touch the screen, it just feels wrong.

The power of computing devices like the iPad and other tablets is bringing touch into what we traditionally think of as the PC marketplace. The debut next year of Windows 8 with its touch-based Metro user interface will add another serious player to the mix. Touch will be in your desktop and notebook future. (Which for me means a steady supply of cloths for wiping screens will be a necessity, but that’s another story.) I think that touch will be the dominant interface—surpassing the mouse—in the near future.

When I see that kind of shift in the marketplace, and the resulting product diversity, my background makes me think that such an area is ripe for some good tools to compare the products. What do you think? Do we need a new generation of touch-based benchmarks for Metro? For other touch-based platforms?

Back here in HDXPRT Central, I do want to mention that the HDXPRT 2012 design specification is now available. Check it out at http://www.hdxprt.com/forum/2012_design_specification.php!

Bill

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