Touchscreen technology is one of the most pervasive design elements in the technology sector today.
After all, everything from smartphones and tablets to personal navigation devices, printers and even WiFi routers incorporate the ability for a human to interact with them using nothing more than their fingertip.
But we’re only scratching at the surface of where this goes.
“Right now touch technology dominates the gadget market,” says Traci Maynard, general manager of the software division at Tarsus Technologies.
“Touch hasn’t cracked the one space where the majority of users will get the biggest productivity and experience boost, namely mainstream client computing. With Windows 8 due for launch on 26 October, some of the industries biggest software and hardware players are laying it all on the line to see touch succeed,” she says.
“I know that a number of market pundits are saying it’s not the first time someone has tried to make touch an integral part of the computing experience,” Maynard continues.
“In fact, Microsoft’s Bill Gates tried to convince the market of something similar back in 2002 when he unveiled the first Tablet PC,” she adds.
“But you’ll know first-hand how much of a difference touch makes to the computing experience if you’ve made use of the Release Preview version of Widows 8 on a touch-capable device,” she says
Maynard says that touch didn’t make sense in the Windows context before, since it was an element that was retro-fitted to an operating system that was designed for use with a keyboard and mouse.
“This time around, it’s as if the keyboard and mouse are the afterthought.
“Windows 8 is clearly designed to leverage the power of touch,” she says.
“Timing will also make all the difference,” she continues.
“The world is already predisposed to the use of smartphones and tablets – devices that have grown-up with touch as their primary input mechanism.
“From that it’s a small jump to making the same a reality on the desktop and notebook.
“I really do believe that in the next decade, we’ll be reminiscing about a time when touch wasn’t a pervasive part of our technology usage experience, and laughing at how naïve this debate was,” Maynard concludes