Another Multi-Touch Rumor

Ars technica reported yesterday on a new Apple multi-touch patent, this time for a laptop equipped with a wide touch pad stretching across the bottom of the entire keyboard. I find this particularly tantalizing because most multi-touch implementations are based on the idea that you’d touch the screen itself. That presents some real problems about where you’d want to put the screen. Is it angled like a drafting table? Is it hanging in the air? Either way, you end up with awkward body positions and fatigue and you can’t use a mouse. I expect that we’re going to see some kind of hybrid environment where you’ll use your hands to manipulate some things (like scrolling and scrubbing video or grabbing and moving trim boundaries) and a mouse for more precise control. This filing gives a hint of what such an interface might look like. It’s an incremental change and seems like it might be usable sooner rather than later.

For those of you are wondering where I’ve been this week, I was speaking at the University Film and Video Association Conference at the University of North Texas. Norm Hollyn and I did a “conversation” to kick off the event, focusing mostly on issues of collaboration. Partly because editing software now seems to allow you to be a one-man band, it may be that film students are not always learning the collaborative skills they’ll need on big productions. Of course, collaboration is always, in some way, ineffable — every relationship is different and rules are hard to come by. No editor wants to be a “pair of hands,” as we used to say, but, on the other hand, we rarely have complete control. Finding a happy middle ground is at least half the job, maybe more.

Explore posts in the same categories: User Interface

One Comment on “Another Multi-Touch Rumor”

  1. cogito Says:

    A Multitouch ‘drafting table’ could be a great way to interact with a timeline, but i think it would work best in addition to the current monitors, and not as a replacement.

    Steve, I would love to email you a document I have written that you may be interesting in. If you could email me an email address where I can contact you, I’d love to get your feedback on something, but I’d rather explain it ‘offline’. :)


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