By David Peralty
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
Since I first saw the demo’s of a multi-touch interface, I have been craving to see a company release a tablet computer with multi-touch enabled. Then when Apple released the iPhone, I realized how small the technology had become, and felt even more passionately that someone should release a tablet computer featuring a multi-touch interface.
Only now are we finally starting to hear rumors of Apple heading down that path. I honestly, am surprised they didn’t create a more modern tablet a long time ago considering how advanced the user interface is on the iPhone, you would think there would be a huge market for a tablet as well.
Could you imagine a graphic designer with a stylus in one hand and his thumb on the screen using his other hand? Able to create art quickly, and easily by changing the colors being used just by sliding his or her own thumb up and down while continuing to draw?
Coverflow on a tablet would bring the bigger screen that computers have, and the touch interface that the iPhone has and it would be a fun experience.
Here is what we know so far. Asus, a company that manufactures some of Apples products, is working on a Mac based tablet. This news comes from the Crave blog, via Techcrunch.
So far there are no details on if this is going to be a mass produced product, or even when it will be available, but I hear many people are hopeful to see it by the third or fourth quarter of 2008.
Techcrunch had this to say:
I love the idea of a tablet computer, but the market has not been going crazy for Windows-based tablet PCs, which are pretty slick. It will remain a niche device, unless touch computing takes off. But touch computing is a compromise. It may work on small devices like iPods and iPhones. It is not clear you need it for larger machines.
God invented the keyboard for a reason. But all the graphic designers who use Macs will probably like it. Call it the iPod Large or the Biggie Touch. Just don’t call it a Newton.
I honestly think it will work very well, if done correctly. Aiming it as a MacBook Pro that is also a “Biggie Touch” seems like a perfect niche to me, and being that Mac users have always been considered the more creative group of computer users, I think there are many uses for such an interface. Also, adding in multi-touch would put it ahead of its Windows-based counterparts, as they seem to really be limited to doing some simple drawings and writing out notes like you were using paper.
Apple has proven itself to be very forward thinking in the past, and I think they will continue to do so with this platform. I also think that as the world gets used to the iPhone and iPod Touch interface, we will see them wanting more of the same.
Image from ZDNET.