Multitouch user interfaces to emerge in the tablet era

Multitouch on the iPad and other media tablets has
liberated users from the hardware keyboard and pointing device (aka the mouse),
and as media tablets become more commonplace, users will expect the convenience
and simplicity of multitouch user interfaces when they interact with other
computing devices, according to Gartner.


“During the next five to 10 years, media tablets
will instigate change in computing form factors; modular designs will enable
tablets to take on new functions, becoming the cross-platform controller and
brain for hybrid consumer electronics and computers,” said Angela
McIntyre, research director at Gartner.

“Tablets will be substitutes for several of the
consumer electronics consumers often carry with them. Thin-and-light mobile PCs
with tablet-like features will become mainstream, pushing out some bulkier PC
styles that have been the norm,” McIntyre added. 

Makers of PCs and consumer electronics are noticing the
shift in consumer expectations and are incorporating features popularized by
the iPad into the new products they are developing. Multitouch technology has
become the de facto interface of high-end smartphones and media tablets,
and will extend to additional consumer electronic devices and to PCs.

Interface technologies can be clustered around five basic
modalities. They include state of mind (of the user), human-computer hybrids,
action detection, speech and biosensing. Of the interface modalities, action
detection has been extensively used to this point because touch. 

The iPad has created a transformational change in how
people interact with computers. Alternative user interfaces, such as
multitouch, are essential for extending the deployment of computing devices
into new markets. Smartphones, tablets and tablet hybrids will become the first
pathway to the Internet for many. The keyboard on PCs is a major barrier for
those who have had no reason or opportunity to become facile with qwerty.

By Team
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