From the moment I played with the iPhone and Microsoft's Surface tabletop computing technology, I have been waiting for pinch-zooming and other motions to make their way into mainstream PCs.
The wait is essentially over.
Although it's the MacBook Air that's been getting all the ink for adding such gestures, Synaptics announced at the Consumer Electronics show last week a version of its touchpad for Windows notebooks that will also support a range of gestures, including methods for continuous scrolling, zooming in and out, and trackball-like movement.
And that's just the start.
"There will be … Read more
After too long with a single-ringer, no-frills, colorless, call-and-text-only Motorola cell phone, this blogger has upgraded to a touch-screen, Windows Mobile, wi-fi capable, hand-held nugget of a computer.
Enter the HTC Touch, also branded Dopod S1.
I picked this phone up yesterday from the mobile phone market in the "Super Bar Street" (星吧路) complex at N?ren Jie (Women Street) in Beijing. I'll have to give a tour of the market later on, but the key here is to come with a friend who knows one of the stalls. In my case, one member of a couple who have bought several phones from one stall came along to introduce me and help negotiate a fair price (though I still had sticker shock, being one of those "Which phone is free with the plan?" consumers).… Read more
A lot of computer gear these days seems to be following the Hummer/SUV trend of the auto industry from the early '90s: the bigger and tougher the better. We've seen, for example, military-grade laptops, keyboards, and even nuke-proof USB drives. So why should LCDs be left out?
Specialty equipment maker Stealth Computer plans to fill that void with the "TuffTouch," a 17-inch touch-screen monitor encased in aluminum alloy for "harsh environment applications," according to the company. The 1,280x1,024 monitor can also be ordered with a built-in "Little PC"--and it'… Read more
Alltel Wireless has just announced the immediate availability of the HTC Touch smartphone with pricing starting at $199.99 with a two-year contract and after rebates and discounts. The Alltel HTC Touch has a number of the same features as the other versions of the phone (unlocked and Sprint's), such as the TouchFlo interface, Windows Mobile 6 Professional Edition, and a 2-megapixel camera. They've also added a fourth "cube" to the menu interface where you can access some of the carrier's exclusive applications such as Voice2TXT (converts voice mails into text), Games from Magmic, Sharpcast … Read more
At the Consumer Electronics Show, Hitachi is demo'ing a product called Starboard that is a multi-touch interface at a very large scale. You can use it to control a regular PC, and they've also got some custom apps for it. One of those is shown in the video.
What's interesting is that this is a projected interface, so it's untethered from the need to have a touch-sensitive LCD. This allows it to scale very large relatively inexpensively. They were also showing a wall-size version.
The projector in both cases was a very short throw Hitachi model … Read more
As I've noted before, iPod deals are rare indeed, so I gotta post 'em when I find 'em. B&H has the 16GB iPod Touch (droooooool) for $365 with shipping. That's $34 less than you'll pay if you order straight from Apple.
I won't bore you with Touch details; you already know it's the coolest iPod ever. So here's your chance to save a few bucks on one--money you can use to stock up on DRM-free MP3s from AmazonMP3. Just a thought.
B&H also has the 8GB model on sale for $… Read more
Just what is a wiki, anyway? A few years ago, I could have told you. Today, I'm not so sure.
Part of the problem is that wiki authors have made innovations, broadening the appeal and scope of wikis. Witness MindTouch's recent upgrade of its DekiWiki platform to 1.8.3.
DekiWiki, the leading enterprise wiki (measured in terms of downloads and, in my opinion, by raw innovation), still allows easy creation of Web pages by nontechnical users.
LG.Philips, one of the major worldwide LCD panel suppliers, is planning to debut a series of mammoth touch screens, including two so-called world-first commercial flat panels: a 52-inch multi-touch and a 47-inch triple-view HDTV.
The former has an ultra-high 1,920x1,080 resolution and the ability to recognize two touch points, as well as gestures. Its high responsiveness is also capable of picking up more exacting writing instruments, thereby improving interactivity.
The HDTV, meanwhile, can display three images to viewers standing at various angles simultaneously. It's intended for such uses as in-store directories and shopping mall advertising.
(Source: … Read more
There's no denying the mobile version of Safari found on the iPod and iPhone Touch offers an above-average browsing experience for a portable device. That said, the software is not without its shortcomings, and one of them is how it handles links found on various Web pages. Depending on how they've been coded by the author, links can be set to open up in a new window or tab, or simply in the same page. Usually you don't find this out until you click on them, which can be a juggle considering the device is only capable … Read more