Friday, June 22, 2007

Touch-Sensitive Screens on Notebook Computers

After watching the ads for the new iPhone while plinking away with a stylus on my Palm E2, I sit in front of my notebook computer and wonder: Why isn't the screen in front of me touch sensitive? It seems asinine that I have to move my hand, which is already close to the screen, away from it towards the embedded mouse or the external mouse in order to manipulate the information in front of me.

Does this technology already exist? I mean, I know touch sensitive screens, and now screens with software allowing for two simultaneous contacts, already exist for PDAs and phones. But have these technologies already been applied to notebook computers? I'm sure someone smarter than I am has already thought of putting the two together. If anyone out there knows of a brand that is available which employs this combination, let me know.

If the technology doesn't exist (in this configuration), I want credit for positing the idea. I'm no engineer, and no patent expert, but I'll give the idea away for some paltry sum... say, $100,000. Oh, and I want a working copy of a production model before it hits the shelves. That's all I ask. Now, someone make one, gimme, and pay up.

Oh, and since laptops can be fitted with cameras (many already have them internally) and a couple of manufacturers are already working with tabletop computers that identify the motions of hands using two cameras and parallax, why not do that on a laptop, so the person doesn't even have to touch the screen, just lift their hands off of the keyboard and manipulate the information by waving their hands like those cool ads with Jay Z? If no one is already working on this, I'm selling this idea for a cool $200,000. And a working model, of course.

Imagine coffee shops filled with people like me, people who like to type with more than their thumbs, reading their New York Times and flipping the virtual pages of the morning's paper by waving their hands in front of their laptop screens. "Star Trek" will have nothing on us!

It's a brave new world, and I'm looking forward to these inevitable, people-friendly technologies. Steve Jobs, get on it. Bill Gates, I know Microsoft doesn't do much in the way of hardware, but this will require new software. Imagine Vista without a mouse interface. Cool, eh? Get to work. And, in case I'm actually the first to voice these ideas, I want my cut. If I'm not first, will someone tell me where I can get this kind of stuff?

I sent copies of this post to email addresses I found for Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. I'll let folks know when I get a reply. Start holding your breath... now!

1 comment:

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