The Touch Crisis / Dilemma / Opportunity

In my mobile world, I graduated from my HTC Fuze (running Windows Mobile 6.1) to the HTC TouchPro 2 (branded the HTC Tilt 2 by AT&T) on the AT&T network. However, this post is not about the mobile device .. as I tweak my Tilt, I’ll provide those bits in a separate post.

Instead, this post is about something I’m calling “the implications of touch” (for lack of a better description at the moment):

  • My device is finger-friendly; has large icons that I can tap to engage .. rarely requiring a stylus.
  • Touch-and-launch is now second nature .. touch the icon and the program loads.
  • The concept of touch-and-hold to bring up a shortcut menu of context-sensitive operations (open, edit, cut, copy, paste, navigate, and so on) is second nature as I work with the mobile.

I bring these points up to make this one: I now find myself reaching to touch my computer screen to perform tasks.

This is a bit scary .. first of all, I’m working on two primary machines: a four-year-old Dell Latitude 820 (that I LOVE again, thanks to Windows 7) and my Acer Aspire One (which I use for travel, conferences and about everything else that I do in real-time).

As neither is a touch device, I find myself hampered by the lack of touch functionality .. it’s SO much easier than reaching for the mouse and clicking to get things going.

Now, those lucky sots who attended PDC09 last week were provided with spiffy new, touch-enabled Acer Aspire 1420P systems to build out the kinds of use cases I am seeking today!

Guys: you have the hardware: get to work and realize the vision. 🙂

A side quote from Part II of the ‘Back to the Future’ series .. “Gee. You have to use your hands?” .. spoken when Marty was showing off on a video game.

At the moment, I’m keen to use my fingers .. once you folks enable thought control, I’ll be quite happy with that.

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About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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