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Ode to Touch Screen Monitors

Its time we stepped back and allowed ourselves a little pause to think about an old friend of ours, the touch screen monitor. You’re probably thinking ‘what does he mean by old‘? It is a little known fact that the patents for touch screen monitors were made during the same period that the advancements for the mouse were made. Both are ways of navigating and interfacing with a computer, but wouldn’t it be intuitive to think that the touch screen monitor would be a more logical and easy way to control your computer?

You’d think so, but considering the strain on your arms and fingers after a length minority-report-uiof time, it would be difficult to use a touch screen display of any kind. Sorry Mr. Philip Dick, but I don’t think we’ll ever see touch screen user interfaces to the proliferation levels as we read in the novel Minority Report or the film adaptation of the same name. Notice the amount of muscles needed just to operate this thing. I picture the people of the future being even less fit than we are today making touch screen operation being even more difficult. Not only is it a strenuous practice, but think how fatter people’s fingers will be, making click accuracy a problem to reckon with. Decadence will probably cause sort of a reverse social Darwinism where the most successful people actually have less of a chance of passing their seed. But that’s another science fiction novel.

Touch screen displays will always be useful to us in certain settings, like Bank ATMs, Airport check-in, and retail store point-of-sale. Its useful for scenarios where you just need to use the thing for a couple minutes. Well I hate to contradict myself in the same breath, but touch screen applications are actually finding themselves into everyday use. Just think of the Palm Treo, Apple iPhone, Nintendo DS, the Fujitsu Tablet PC, and the Toughbook series by Panasonic. So I stand moded by myself.

The next time you let your mouse frolic across your mouse pad, just remember that it is losing market share in the business of user interface. I think that it will always remain our main method of interacting with our computer until the machines enslave the human race (another science fiction novel), or until we are being watched daily by Big Brother (Google).

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