Multi-touch

Update: There’s a newer video at “Multitouch will revolutionize your computer”. This is certainly something we’ll see in one form or another in Mac OS X pretty soon.

Apple let the iPhone out of the box today… and wow! It’s a revolution, especially on the UI side.

So now we know where the multi-touch technology that Jeff Han demoed at TEDtalk in february 2006 went. In the iPhone.

Just to remind you, here’s the video at Google again:

And for rss readers: Here’s the direct link.

Now, watch how it is used in the iPhone.

Where do you think all the other cool things Jeff demoes will go? Obviously 10.5. All MacBooks and MacBook Pros could use the same technology with the touch pad. Or maybe the rumoured new Apple display will have a similar multi-touch feature as the iPhone? Just think about it. Apple has already done this now, on a small scale in the iPhone. Mind-boggling.

Used in Pro apps

Imagine having this way of working in the pro apps; Final Cut Pro, Motion, Logic. Zoom in and out of timelines. Zooming on video effects. Controlling faders and graphs directly on the screen. And you could use your fingers to draw vectors for movements, and easier graphics work. It would be so much more organic. Like playing on the computer, using it more like a musical instrument. I would love it.

4 minutes into the video, Jeff moves around lots of pictures with his hands. Imagine using that to organize your content before putting it on the timeline.

The new OS?

What if the new OS X worked like this in the Finder? Zooming into folders, organizing content. Sorting and analyzing. That would certainly be something different than Vista!

So Eirik, it’s Apple-shares you should buy.

The guys behind it are setting up a company and hope to put it into production. Where can I buy shares?

Or rather – bought. Apple shares went up 8.3% today.

Eirik also has a nice video of the screen in action at Siggraph 2006

Update: TED blog

Several blogs write about this, including the TED Blog. Chris Anderson asked Jeff Han about multitouch, and he answered:

The iPhone is absolutely gorgeous, and I’ve always said, if there ever were a company to bring this kind of technology to the consumer market, it’s Apple. I just wish it were a bit bigger so I could really use both of my hands.

Hm. Does it make you any wiser? A bit secretive?

Just to make this a little more fun, seven different computeres at Apple read this post some minutes after it was digged… Read into it what you want. I still think 2007 will be an amazing year for Apple.

Update 2: Exciting updates coming?

Now Jeff Han comments on the project page for multitouch:

Update: Yes, we saw the keynote too! We have some very, very exciting updates coming soon- stay tuned!

(via daringfireball). Still in doubt something big is in the works?

Update 3: Fast company

Fast Company has an article about Jeff Han, which was done before the iPhone launch:

Not everyone is sold on Han’s idea. Ben Shneiderman, a computer science professor at the University of Maryland and a founding director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab, calls Han a “great showman” who has “opened the door to exciting possibilities.” But he doesn’t think Han’s technology would be suitable for a large-scale consumer product, nor as useful as a mouse on a large display. If you are standing in front of the screen, Shneiderman wonders, how would people behind you be able to see what you’re doing?

One way, Han counters, is for the demonstrator to simply move his ass out of the way. Another: Use a drafting-table display, as Han did at TED, and project the image on a wall-size screen.

But criticisms like these are a million light years from Han’s mind. We’re in his cluttered and cramped office at NYU. Books line a shelf, and a skein of wires unfurls across the floor. A computer circuit board is half taken apart (he stopped losing screws long ago), and a nearby whiteboard contains blueprints and sketches of the touch screen, plus a clever trick for hacking programming code.

Han is explaining why he formed Perceptive Pixel. “I want to create an environment where I can create technology, get it into the hands of someone to market it, and move on to other technologies so I can keep innovating,” he says. “I want to be a serial entrepreneur: Incubate an idea, get it to a good state, and make that an enabler to get to the next state. It’s every researcher’s fantasy.”

Update 4: Fingerworks

According to both Engadget and Charles Arthur, it is FingerWorks technology that is inside the iPhone. Apple bought their technology some time ago.

If you head over to FingerWorks.com, you’ll see…

Important note!

FingerWorks has ceased operations as a business.

FingerWorks products are no longer available for resale, and no further updates to software drivers will be developed.

The fun thing is that both Jeff Han and FingerWorks call their technology Multitouch.

Update 5: Revolution!

You may want to know how multitouch will revolutionize your computer/