Multi-touch: Many questions to one desire....

Al Johnson openmoko at
Tue Mar 4 17:29:29 CET 2008

On Tuesday 04 March 2008, Michael 'Mickey' Lauer wrote:
> Hi guys,
> I have thought a bit about multitouch and its possible usecases and the
> longer I think about it the less exciting I find it on a mobile phone.
> The technology per se is great and I'm sure it will allow for great
> innovation among UI's on large monitors, tablets, and even desks.
> However, on small screen systems such as the Neo (or even the iPhone) --
> what do you want to do with it? The ubiquitous zooming and rotating
> examples are not convincing me at all. With some clever state logic you can
> zoom and rotate very efficient on unitouch systems.
> So... where are those usecases that apply to a phone?

Small screen systems aren't just phones, as Sean has mentioned for future 
OpenMoko devices. Some things need more than one channel of simultaneous 
input, so with unitouch systems you can't use virtual controls onscreen; you 
have to start adding physical controls, or suffer a limited application. Off 
the top of my head here are a couple:
* Emulating a pair of analogue thumb controllers. I remember a text input 
method using simultaneous input from 2 8-way hat switches too.
* Audio mixer - think portable DJ apps.

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