By now, we’ve all seen at least the advertisements for the iPhone and its compelling, almost addictive multitouch interface. Simply point and gesture with your fingers on the glass and the device completes natural actions like rotating photos, zooming in on web pages and more. Why isn’t such an interface incorporated into our more traditional computing environments? Apple is clearly moving in this direction with the inclusion of multitouch trackpads on its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, but let’s skip a few more years into the future. What would using a multitouch Mac akin to the iPhone really be like?
Luckily, Christian Moore of NUI has created a prototype device called Lux that demonstrates just this concept. Gizmodo provided today a video tour of Lux and a brief interview with Moore himself. While still a young project, the interactions and gestures are exceptionally well executed for being the work of a tinkerer and not a team of professional engineers, programmers and researchers.
From my perspective, as an Instructional Technologist, the educational impact of something like this is huge. Removing the keyboard and mouse from the physical hardware equation lowers the formality of using a computer and disconnection from our tactile reality. It is so much more natural to sort a stack of photos by manually sifting through them than by using various scrollbars, sliders and a mouse. Think of how much more accessible reading on a digital screen could be if you could simply turn pages, dog ear and “tear” like with print. The possibilities are really limitless – and completely exciting.
What would you do with a multitouch Mac like Lux?