Back in the days when computing use was innocent; we'd use our hands to communicate via devices called "keyboards" and "mice" to make the computer do something. Now with the new wave of technology striking us at our very core being, touch-screen technology is taking off like Obama's Blackberry craze.
Computing, for me, has taken a step backwards. I don't know why anyone would want to interact with a screen with their hands. No matter how smart the technology, the oils on our fingers will grease up the screen like a tabletop in a dingy highway diner. We'll have errors, flaws, glitches, graphics issues, slowed down processors - it'll be a nightmare.
What do I base this on? I've used many-a-touchscreen device, including the iPhone and the Microsoft Surface table. The Surface table, granted, isn't bad to use. It's fast, responsive, and works well using high-powered applications as it sucks out the power of the GPU.
But the idea behind the Surface table is to use it as a table. You'll be able to put a glass of wine down and it'll recognise it. You can pop your phone down and it'll wireless connect. Your kid can be in the next room and it should tell you when they need changing.
It sounds good in theory, but it really isn't. Touch is the motherführer (not a good thing) of all devices and technology there is.
Having people's messy hands all over your screen or your Surface table will be an absolute fest for bugs, diseases, MRSA, flu, cold - you name it. And what's worse, when people pick up your phone to play with after taking a whizz and not washing their hands, you'll go to pick up a phone call and you'll have their whizz on your face. It's utter madness as to why anybody would want that... unless you're into that sort of thing, I suppose.
At the moment, one of the most unhygienic items in the house isn't what most people would say, "the toilet seat". It's the computer keyboard. I know this, I'm not stupid, and I'm not making a point of writing this "for the hell of it".
Touch screens shoudn't have taken off this quickly. The technology should have been given enough time to evolve, to develop, to grow and to "learn" in some respects. Using a Tablet PC is good in theory; great for those who want to draw and write, and simple things like that. But when you get your hands involved, you end up pressing your palm against the screen and it screws up, or your kids come up and replicate what you're doing - with their jam and chocolate hands.
Multi-touch is the evolution of "single touch", but with the technology slowly rolling out, I'd be surprised if Microsoft really have this taking off by the time Windows 7 is released. N-Trig has just been given a contract to make multi-touch computers, but because the technology hasn't been around long enough to really tinker with, how will it really react with Windows 7?
I've seen the screencasts, the webcasts, and the demonstrations of the multi-touch features; if you have to do something twice, the same movement or the same command twice because the first time it didn't recognise it; it's not fully evolved as a technology.
In theory, it's a good idea. In my honest opinion, I find it to be the most evil thing on the planet, next to McVeigh, satellite radio and the Telletubbies.