The trouble withtactile feedback via buttons is that it arbitrarily limits us in the applications that can be built. Designing a powerful and intuitive piece of software comes down to how buttons are mapped, and it often becomes horribly complicated with button combos and the like. Software using physical buttons and designed for small screens is very confusing, since there is generally not enough screen space for on-screen help.
<br><br>The solution tends to be a very small tactile keyboard, and, frankly, I find that even less intuitive. People can say all they want about tiny button keyboards being usable, but in my opinion, they are both ugly and slow. They also limit us in the usability of the device; A touch screen we can rotate between Portrait and Landscape mode. If there was a mini keyboard involved, that would be very difficult to design!
<br>I do not think qwerty was ever intended for thumb typing, so it is no wonder I find it so unintuitive. Far more intuitive is an on-screen keyboard using auto completion, guided graphiti, or a messag-ease inspired layout.
<br>Finally, I think a touch screen is a good choice for a platform designed to grow smoothly as a home for new ideas in mobile interface design.<br><br>That isn't to say I think having a tactile keyboard, or some buttons, is a /bad/ idea, though. I don't think the hardware should get in the way of expandability, and I am driven crazy particularly when hardware makes assumptions about the software it is built for. (Eg: The Windows key). I also am strongly opposed to a device packing built in, permanent features which are less than perfect. (For example,
1.5 megapixel digital cameras). Let there be room for a portable Bluetooth keyboard; one that is designed to be a usable keyboard, rather than a tiny button pad.<br><br><br>Okay, tactile feedback :)<br>I agree, it's a great thing to have. I always point people to the Nintendo Wii as an example of tactile feedback done right. The input method is, itself, very tactile compared to the use of a touch screen, since it is done in three dimensions without the limitation of an artificial environment. They did a great job of making the controller come to life just with a speaker and a rumble feature -- both things we have available in the Neo.
<br>In my opinion, the additional plastic bits that can be attached to the controller (steering wheels, for example) are a disappointing departure from what the controller is capable of. The whole point is that it makes something out of nothing; it somehow feels like a baseball bat or a tennis raquet just with basic functionality that is already there. No need to buy an extra peripheral to make it become these things. It just works, like a magic trick!
<br><br>A random question, now: Does the Wii controller have multiple positions for rumbling? I don't believe it does, but just wondering. That, I think, would be a fantastic way to get more tactile feedback. Instead of a vibration just being an abstract concept, it could actually be focussed to a particular point. Thus, the tennis racquet would be vibrating on one particular end but not much at the base, whereas a ping-pong paddle would give a more evenly distributed effect.
<br><br>Back to actually practical interfaces, I think tactile feedback by rumbling can be a lot more interesting and attractive if it is not just "a rumble", but a tightening up on the top left, or on the center of the device. Have to keep in mind that the vibration has to be very slight to avoid damaging the screen. I don't think a huge ammount is necessary; just a little hint is enough for the illusion of added pressure. (After all, hands are very sensitive)...
<br><br>Bye,<br>-Dylan McCall<br><br><div><span class="gmail_quote">On 9/11/07, <b class="gmail_sendername">Simon</b> <<a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>> wrote:</span><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;">
Some "screen protectors" could be made to have relief boundaries<br>between all the buttons... so you just stick you keyboard relief on<br>the screen, close your eyes and write an email!<br>If not then, lets forget about tactile sensations, those that look for
<br>that can buy usb/bt keyboards! (like I'm going to do)<br><br>Simon<br><br>On 9/11/07, Alexey Feldgendler <<a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>> wrote:<br>> <a href="http://blogs.s60.com/browser/2007/08/the_problem_with_touch_screens.html">
http://blogs.s60.com/browser/2007/08/the_problem_with_touch_screens.html</a><br>><br>> The point of the article is that touch screens lack the tactile feedback<br>> that's inherent to physical buttons.<br>>
<br>> I wonder if it's possible to simulate some of that feedback using the<br>> vibrator built into Neo.<br>><br>><br>> --<br>> Alexey Feldgendler <<a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org
</a>><br>> [ICQ: 115226275] <a href="http://feldgendler.livejournal.com">http://feldgendler.livejournal.com</a><br>><br>> _______________________________________________<br>> OpenMoko community mailing list
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