Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why Touchscreen?

I don't understand why it is that so many computer manufacturers (though perhaps significantly not Apple) seem convinced that what people really want in an all-in-one desktop computer is touchscreen technology. People claim this is a "family computer" feature that everyone should want. As it is, I spend far too much time scolding my kids for touching the monitor, and cleaning their fingerprints off it. Why would I want a computer which encouraged them to touch it?

I understand why you'd want touch on a smartphone or a check-out terminal. But on a home computer, no thanks.


RL said...

Amen. What's more, who the heck wants to extend their arm out over a desk to input clicks? If carpal tunnel syndrome is a problem from using mice imagine what conditions can we expect to see from using a touch screen.

Tom Simon said...

HP introduced a desktop computer with primitive touchscreen technology way back in 1984. It was a complete flop. Many applications required you to hold your hand up to the screen for extended periods, which produced numbness, poor circulation, and a swollen feeling in the fingers. HP's engineers dubbed this ‘gorilla hand syndrome’ because it felt like you were wearing the glove of a gorilla costume.

The product was scrapped after a few months, and never tried again — until now, when, presumably, all the lead engineers who remember that fiasco have retired. So a new generation gets to learn for itself what a bad idea this is. So it goes.

Jeff Miller said...

For my computer monitors I see no need for touchscreen. I argued with my boss at work who wanted to buy touchscreens for us application developers and said we would rather have larger monitors than more expensive touchscreen ones. Reaching out and touching a standard monitor just is not efficient.

Though as long time owner of an iPod Touch I can see why in handheld screens this is quite a good feature since it really is rather efficient on that scale. Touching a screen already at your fingertips is intuitive and easy.

I look forward to getting an iPad since a touch screen at that size format will be very usable. Though mostly I want a book reader that will handle books from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and pretty much every eBook format out there. I already read lots of books on my iPod Touch.

Class factotum said...

The people who are making the touchscreen computers obviously do not have cats. A purring, demanding your attention, tail-waving cat can do a lot of damage on a touchscreen.