Re: Multi-Touch Screen Monitors

Subject: Re: Multi-Touch Screen Monitors
From: Ryan Supak (
Date: Wed Oct 26 2005 - 14:37:08 EDT

maybe a laptop with no mouse or keyboard -- just a flat multitouch pad in
its place -- and little "transparent hand silhouettes" could show up on the
screen of the laptop itself, so you know what you're grabbing?


On 10/26/05, Kenneth Newby <> wrote:
> MaxMSP single pixel moves I do all the time: lining up patch-cords in
> complex patches, adjusting the size of objects to fit nicely together
> when many are lined up either horizontally or vertically. I work with
> systems that involve multiple objects of the same type that need to be
> resident in the same patcher window so this comes up all the time.
> I've also found that a pen-based approach works very well. You get the
> accuracy you need and the use of a pen provides more gestural freedom
> than the mouse. Programmable buttons and tapping patterns are also
> very useful for speeding up and focussing the workflow for specific
> applications. I recall crashing through a huge set of speech edits in
> a very short time using a well-programmed Wacom tablet and pen.
> There's also an ergonomic issue with touch-screens. If the screen is
> in the traditional vertical position one would have to hold one's arm
> in a suspended position which is going to open up all kinds of
> potentials for serious repetitive strain injuries. I dealt with this
> while working for the computer game industry where I spent eight hours
> or more a day with a mouse in my hand. Initially I didn't have the
> right chair and found myself holding the mouse with my elbow in the
> air. It didn't take long before I began experiencing tingling and
> numbness in my wrist and moving up my arm. I dealt with it effectively
> by asking for a chair with an adjustable armrest which allowed me to
> rest my arm on that armrest at the same level as the table-top, thereby
> taking all the strain off arm-wrist structure. The injury vanished
> within a matter of weeks.
> How would an effective touch-screen interface balance that traditional,
> relatively vertical, position that works best for reading? If you lay
> the screen horizontally on a table to improve it's access to the hand,
> it becomes a potential strain on the neck. Incompatible uses?
> Kenneth.
> On 26-Oct-05, at 10:47 AM, Richard Wentk wrote:
> > At 17:45 26/10/2005, you wrote:
> >> Anyone who programs much in MaxMSP or many other graphics programs
> >> are used to the practice of nudging with single pixel accuracy.
> >
> > I program in Max/MSP and I've never felt a need to nudge single
> > pixels. There aren't many situations where that kind of absolute
> > accuracy is genuinely essential. Where it is essential, it's worth
> > wondering if a cursor/screen combination really is the optimal
> > interface solution.
> >
> >> I personally found the low resolution of the (now defunct?) Tactex
> >> touch pad to be a severe limitation to its usefulness for detailed
> >> gestural or higher resolution purposes.
> >
> > You need a certain minimal area to make high resolution control, and
> > the problem with any touch-based solution is that for accurate control
> > that area has to be quite large. The Lemur is pretty much the bare
> > minimum size.
> >
> > I had a 21" Wacom Cintiq here for a while
> > ( and that was surprisingly
> > musical and responsive with Max/MSP. Albeit that it's a pen driven
> > single-touch system.
> >
> > A multi-touch version of the Cintiq would be a very interesting thing
> > indeed. (Unfortunately it would also be a very expensive and heavy
> > thing. But still...)
> >
> > Richard
> >
> >
> >

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