When Touch Is Inappropriate

Microsoft (s MSFT) continues to push touch as a user interface, this time as a participant in the $24 million funding round for Israeli startup N-Trig, whose technology enables multitouch, or the use of more than one finger for input. Multitouch hit it big on the iPhone, where one uses multiple fingers to zoom in rather than one finger to drag things around the screen. N-Trig’s technology is also pressure-sensitive capacitive like the iPhone, rather than based on cameras, such as with the touch technologies used by HP’s (s HPQ) TouchSmart PC and the Microsoft Surface table. An article in today’s Wall Street Journal hypes Microsoft’s efforts, and spends a good amount of verbiage on how touch could replace the mouse, but won’t be useful everywhere.

Ain’t that the truth. Touch is frankly inappropriate for many tasks, from typing blog entries to dealing with Excel spreadsheets. Read More about When Touch Is Inappropriate

HP Keeps Pushing Touch

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that within 18 months HP plans to have multiple touchscreen products, including a laptop, “that use the same type of finger-tapping interface popularized by Apple Inc.’s iPhone.” If HP does use the same type of touch screen as that of the iPhone, it will represent a significant breakthrough for larger touch screens as it will help drive down costs and create a market for more applications.

The iPhone has brought touch to the masses, but HP and Microsoft have been pushing the technology for years. Microsoft’s Bill Gates showed off his first tablet in 2000, and in the last two years offered the world the futuristic Surface Table and the Touch Wall. And HP launched its second generation of touch-based personal computers earlier this summer. But the underlying touch technology for smaller devices is very different from that of big ones. Read More about HP Keeps Pushing Touch