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10/GUI — an Interface For Multi-Touch Input

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the minority-report-without-the-arm-pain dept.

GUI 344

Naznarreb writes "R. Clayton Miller has an extremely impressive GUI concept he's calling 10/GUI (video; written description here). Essentially, it combines the high-bandwidth input possibilities of multi-touch interfaces with the ease and immediacy of a mouse. The video is quite interesting, and, for me at least, pretty jaw dropping. This is a dramatic re-imagining of the current mouse/screen schema, one that I think has significant potential."

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Not for desktop pc's, but (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29743965)

Theres still a few problems though. For one, mouse is an incredibly precise input device - you can pretty easily move it along same pixel axis, or get it precisely to a specific pixel. It's hard to do that with your fingers because the area they touch is a large one, it's not easy to just move your finger by one pixel and your hand tend to shake a little bit too. If you look at the video, you see everything in the interface is quite big and even a few small windows take lots of place.

Other problem is that now your both hands lay on the wide touch area and you dont have a keyboard. If you put them side to side, you'll only have one hand on the touch area and dont get the full power of it. Moving hands between them all the time is inefficient. Typing on the touch area gives no feedback and again takes your hands of the "mouse".

It would also be quite impossible to play FPS or other kinds of games with this type of setup.

So no, I still dont see touch interfaces replacing the usual keyboard+mouse combo anytime soon. However, I would love to have this kind of system in my living room (either just for the tv, or the computer thats connected to tv screen). It's clumsy to have keyboard or mouse in living (at the moment I have MX Air -mouse [] , which is okayish), but this would be perfect for such job. Not for a desktop pc replacement though.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#29744111)

it's not easy to just move your finger by one pixel

Place finger on surface, then roll finger without lifting or dragging it. I do that all the time on my laptop's trackpad. Besides, you don't need to use pixels as the fundamental unit of movement if your input device can detect movements smaller than a pixel. Putting something at a subpixel position is even easier with modern GPUs (and even Intel GMAs) that power compositing window managers.

It would also be quite impossible to play FPS or other kinds of games with this type of setup.

Even RTS or rail shooters?

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (4, Interesting)

LBt1st (709520) | about 5 years ago | (#29744155)

At the very end of the video they show a keyboard positioned over the touchpad. So I don't think they're trying to eliminate the keyboard entirely.

Still you've got many valid points. The mouse is still a much needed tool for many tasks.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (4, Insightful)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | about 5 years ago | (#29744429)

Fine then, have a mouse as well for super detail work.

I watched the video and I found in very interesting. As someone who's sitting in front of a 24" monitor and I've ~30 windows open, I totally get the clutter thing.

With that all said, what I saw was lots of talk and lots of eye candy. If you go to the 10/GUI website it's completely devoid of any details about hardware, what OS it's going to be supported on, etc.

Until there's more details, I'm calling vaporware on this...

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (3, Interesting)

Svartalf (2997) | about 5 years ago | (#29744703)

Actually, he's described enough of the framework in the video to do it fairly easily with the stuff that's currently available.

Seriously. You'd use a capacitive or similar touch-pad and do multi-touch against that backdrop as an input source. All one has to do is apply something along the lines of this [] and modify it to understand his local/global edges of the touchpad and then implement his window management system on top of one of the lightweight WMs out there as a fork.

However, while that would require a smallish amount of work, one has to wonder if he's got patents applied for or a copyright on the "look and feel" that he'll let it all happen and then submarine the whole thing when it becomes "the big thing". If he's letting anyone have access to it, or letting FOSS projects have it under FOSS terms and proprietary under similar RAND terms, then I'd say let's see how the idea actually works. If not, I'd say give it a pass. It's interesting enough to evaluate if he's barking up the right tree or not- but only if he's not merely setting himself up as gatekeeper so he can extract rents on a potentially useful interface paradigm.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (1)

PIBM (588930) | about 5 years ago | (#29744805)

I found that their linear desktop was a very bad idea. Playing around on my 30 inch I tend to have a 3 columns, usually being 2 - 2 - 3 rows of windows opened, and I place my other windows with a few pixel showing so that I can pop them up when needed. IE, I have all the information I want ready to be seen, which is not the case with their idea, and that's a big step backward.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (1)

JohnFen (1641097) | about 5 years ago | (#29744727)

The arrangement of the keyboard/touchpad they showed is where they lost me. Too much desk space taken up, and I'll end up resting my wrists on the touchpad, and I'll have to type with my hands too far forward.

This seems like a tough problem. The best solution I can think of is to use the touchpad as the keyboard as well, with soft keys. But then I won't have a real keyboard -- and I love having a real keyboard.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (2, Informative)

Canazza (1428553) | about 5 years ago | (#29744177)

the final few seconds of the vid shows it as a suppliment to a keyboard (below it)
so while you're using WASD for movement you can still use the pad like a mouse

OR you can use the left hand for movement on the pad (splitting the left side into Forward/back/left/right sections) totally ignoring the keyboard. Combine it with it's own thin screen below it to display custom click areas, and boom! FPS.
Could even replace the keyboard in that case

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (4, Insightful)

smitty777 (1612557) | about 5 years ago | (#29744181)

Another problem is the assumption of 10 digits. For example, this might be more difficult for someone that is missing a digit or is paralyzed in an arm. In that case, the mouse would have a definite advantage.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (1)

Canazza (1428553) | about 5 years ago | (#29744361)

Most tasks can be done with 5 fingers, so even if you've lost one whole arm you should still be able to do 90% of the tasks shown. The only thing that'd be hard would be the multi-tasking (eg Zoom out + Move Window), everything else would be okay.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (5, Insightful)

cwgmpls (853876) | about 5 years ago | (#29744809)

I understand that people with disabilities have computer input needs too. But I don't understand why the fact that we are all differently-abled should prevent people from using their abilities to their fullest capacity.

Does the fact that some people are missing a digit or have paralysis in one arm mean that no one should propose playing a piano with ten fingers? Does that fact that some people don't have feet mean that pianos should not have foot pedals? Of course not.

While we should move forward with good interface designs for people with disabilities, I don't see why we should stand in the way of people using the abilities they do have in a novel, more productive way.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (2, Interesting)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | about 5 years ago | (#29745143)

You could easily replace the multi-finger gestures with single-feature gestures (or a traditional mouse) plus modifier keys. This system doesn't really let you do anything new you couldn't do before, it just takes advantage of all you fingers to let you do them quickly and more efficiently.

Not optimizing what I spend most of my time doing (1)

faffod (905810) | about 5 years ago | (#29744337)

Right now this comes across as an interesting thought exercise. I think that FPS style games should be possible (where there's a will...) but I think that things like typing will be more less efficient than on a keyboard, which provides tactile feedback. And I spend more time typing than I do mousing and reorganizing windows. This isn't optimizing the 80% case. Since all the tech is available, they should be able to provide a real demo as opposed to animation mockups; then we'll see how typing and other real world problems fit in. Until proven wrong about slowing down the things that I do on a PC, I agree that this isn't for a desktop PC. The other question is, where else could this be used?

Re:Not optimizing what I spend most of my time doi (1)

Kagato (116051) | about 5 years ago | (#29744447)

I don't understand the typing reference as the video clearly shows the pad in the lower section of a traditional keyboard. It seems to be based entirely on replacing the mouse.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (3, Interesting)

theurge14 (820596) | about 5 years ago | (#29744417)

It would also be quite impossible to play FPS or other kinds of games with this type of setup.

Are we all really that stuck in our ways that this is how we judge possibly revolutionary ways to interface with our computers? By how well it stacks up to an already poor approximation of shooting guns in a computer game?

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (1)

thah0ppa (1543099) | about 5 years ago | (#29744459)

With respect, I disagree. Will this replace current software interfaces, no. It will require the sw that is setup for this type of interface, but all games could be made to support this. These would shine, as you can manipulate many variable interfaces at once. Existing sw and games could take gaming to new places.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (1)

techiemikey (1126169) | about 5 years ago | (#29744479)

No, it would not be impossible to play FPS with this kind of setup. It would require a different type of setup than we are currently used to, but that doesn't mean it would be a bad setup.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (1)

lymond01 (314120) | about 5 years ago | (#29744987)

I think it might make an advanced FPS easier to play. Two hands -- one for looking and shooting, one for actions (running, jumping, ducking). You could even keep the normal WASD configuration -- just slightly divide up the pad into areas, just like a keyboard. One finger is directional movement, two fingers is angular, three is an action (ducking, rolling, etc).

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (1)

Kagato (116051) | about 5 years ago | (#29744493)

I see this replacing the mouse and quite useful in terms of day to day PC use. In particular in a business setting. I think what happen is the mouse will become a specialized tool, just like drawing tablets are specialized today.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (1)

muffen (321442) | about 5 years ago | (#29744905)

However, I would love to have this kind of system in my living room (either just for the tv, or the computer thats connected to tv screen).

You can try something like this. []

I use that with my Media PC and it works well.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (1)

naasking (94116) | about 5 years ago | (#29744933)

For one, mouse is an incredibly precise input device - you can pretty easily move it along same pixel axis, or get it precisely to a specific pixel.

I think the existence of touchpads that have already replaced mice on all portable computers demonstrates that a touch surface can be almost as precise as a mouse. Certainly there are some input activities that require even more control, but there are simple solutions: a) these activities require a more precise pointing device, or b) use the zoom gesture to zoom into an area where you need to exert finer control.

There are similar solutions to you other concerns.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744949)

or get it precisely to a specific pixel. It's hard to do that with your fingers because the area they touch is a large one, it's not easy to just move your finger by one pixel and your hand tend to shake a little bit too

You are just not imaginative enough. This isn't a laptop touchpad, so there is a lot more space to work with. You could possibly go into a "detail" or "zoom" mode where the amount of space traversed when moving across the pad is less.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (1)

elh_inny (557966) | about 5 years ago | (#29744953)

It would also be quite impossible to play FPS or other kinds of games with this type of setup.

I think Quake 3 engine has been open-sourced a while ago.

I wonder if it'd be possible to use that game (and maybe other games, apps) as a benchmark to test the efficiency of various input methods.

If you can win on Nightmare on q3dm17, it's good/quick enough for me at least.

Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | about 5 years ago | (#29745119)

Theres still a few problems though. For one, mouse is an incredibly precise input device - you can pretty easily move it along same pixel axis, or get it precisely to a specific pixel. It's hard to do that with your fingers because the area they touch is a large one, it's not easy to just move your finger by one pixel and your hand tend to shake a little bit too. If you look at the video, you see everything in the interface is quite big and even a few small windows take lots of place.

Exact pixel accuracy is only necessary for a few specific applications, like editing graphics. A modifier could be added to adjust the gain, or use something like acceleration to dynamically change the movement delta when the user is moving their fingers very slowly. But for the vast majority of uses and users, being within a few pixels is good enough.

Other problem is that now your both hands lay on the wide touch area and you dont have a keyboard. If you put them side to side, you'll only have one hand on the touch area and dont get the full power of it.

I didn't notice any two-hand gestures in the video. Looks like everything could be done with early hand singularly.

Moving hands between them all the time is inefficient. Typing on the touch area gives no feedback and again takes your hands of the "mouse".

Moving hands between keyboard and mouse in inefficient now, but we manage.

It would also be quite impossible to play FPS or other kinds of games with this type of setup.


Re:Not for desktop pc's, but (1)

theghost (156240) | about 5 years ago | (#29745153)

It looks like most of your objections are a result of being too stuck in the mouse mindset. Use a little imagination.

Precision: Each fingerprint has a dot in the center like an aiming reticle - that's your single-pixel reference. Seems like the ability to map some application-specific shortcut gesture to sensitivity changes, axis locks, or to any number of other tasks would be a given.

Keyboard/mouse switching has some of this issue right now and yet we deal with it. At about 8:10 in the video you see what this might look like in conjunction with a keyboard, but that seems a little clunky to me. I can imagine a split touch surface like having a mouse pad on either side of your keyboard that would alleviate some of this. Though you would lose some of the ease of two-hand interactions this way, i suspect you could train yourself past most of that.

I have no trouble at all imagining playing an fps or almost any other kind of game with this. See above - application-specific gesture mapping.

The speed with which this could be adopted has more to do with the rate of hardware and driver development imo. I don't see cheap mass-production happening soon.

But how would you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29743997) an FPS on it?

FPS != be-all end-all. (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#29744039)

But how would an FPS on it?

That'd be like asking how one plays a Wii-style game on an Xbox 360. The games specifically made for this sort of device would have a different design. Imagine the kind of control in an RTS that this would enable.

Besides, from what perspective are Duck Hunt and Time Crisis played?

Re:But how would you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744083)


Typing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744117)

I can see why the demo didn't show any typing in the text editor...

Re:Typing (1)

aesiamun (862627) | about 5 years ago | (#29744289)

Typing in the text editor would be like any text editor. The touch area is BELOW a keyboard...

Re:Typing (1)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | about 5 years ago | (#29744363)

Yeah it's an interesting take on a multi-touch interface - but I'm not sure I like a couple of things:

* Why isn't the touchpad also the keyboard - I don't want to reach over the touchpad and have an non-ergonomic posture for typing

* their session management / windowing approach isn't right - I run with a dual screen system here that gets rid of the problem they are trying to solve - a cluttered badly organised desktop.

The good idea is having the multi-touch surface at that height and orientation. But didn't Dillinger already have this in Tron? .-)

Seems to me they could solve most of the problems by "just making everything larger" - the multi-touch interface could have tiny little bumps to help locate where the keys should be whilst the window management issues go away with a big enough rendering surface.

Re:Typing (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about 5 years ago | (#29744783)

In theory, you can have a keyboard... Add another zone. Only drawback would be that the keyboard would be a re-learning experience for touch typists.

As for the session management... You've managed to side-step the problem, not "fix" it as you've implied. I've done it with multiple desktops and a widescreen monitor. However, you and I (and others like us...) have not really fixed the issue as it's one within the design of the current paradigm and will eventually show it's ugly head even with our individual workarounds. As to whether or not his idea's "better", I couldn't say- I will say it's different, and appears to mesh well with the concept he's come up with. Whether it's workable or not would have to have someone actually implement 10/GUI and actually use it. I'm thinking it would be definitely a workable thing with a handheld and it's multi-touch interface, though.

Re:Typing (1)

DJCacophony (832334) | about 5 years ago | (#29745125)

* Why isn't the touchpad also the keyboard

Maybe because that would be utter shit? Good keyboards require real haptic feedback. Hardly anybody would like or use a full-sized touch-screen keyboard as a replacement for a real one.

Overhyped (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about 5 years ago | (#29744137)

How can you over-hype a one-paragraph summary?

Five minutes into the video and I'm still none the wiser as to how this is supposed to be an improvement in the use of my computer, or more comfortable, or easier. The "real-world" demo towards the end doesn't seem at all impressive and leaves out an awful lot of computer uses (we'll start with gaming, because it's easier to pick on multitouch for that).

Why is everyone determined to sell me multitouch but can't actually show a decent use that justifies the price/hassle/upheaval/software development costs?

Window management (3, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | about 5 years ago | (#29744223)

It doesn't really seem like an improvement in window-management for me either. Sure, window overlays are a bit cluttered, but then again there's only so much information one can process at a given instant.

I tend to have a *lot* of items running as I multitask. A web-browser, document, several terminals, perhaps a coding window, and others. Having windows aligned horizontally it going to be a PITA if I have to zoom out every time I need to jump from #1 to #15. In that event, a taskbar really is quite a nice thing and "just works". Perhaps rather than having a left (contextual) and right (global) menu, they could also have a bottom/top (taskbar) menu.

Re:Window management (1)

Spellvexit (1039042) | about 5 years ago | (#29744913)

I felt that looked a bit constraining as well. It would be nice of them to provide two modes -- one where the applications are all aligned in the track as demonstrated in the video, and one where you unlock the interface to organize/clutter your applications as you see fit. I've performed plenty of tasks where I've stacked a window on top, or kept a calculator tucked down into a corner. If this kind of interface catches on, the creators would be wise to allow for user-designed add-ons that allow for the expansion of the base interface.

Re:Overhyped (4, Funny)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | about 5 years ago | (#29744247)

Because everyone grew up watching Star Trek which clearly shows all computer interfaces are supposed to become glass touchscreens dangit!

Re:Overhyped (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 5 years ago | (#29744291)

Their "real-world" demo looked a whole lot like using a late model Macbook (Pro) except that their windows have automatic tiling permanently locked on.

Yes, their multiple mouse pointers was nice, but also pretty obvious.

Re:Overhyped (2, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about 5 years ago | (#29744407)

Load up GlovePIE with a few USB mice - you can use their simple example script to have as many (working) mouse pointers in Windows as you have input devices (even Wiimotes and keyboard, etc.). It's not perfect but does essentially the same thing.

Re:Overhyped (1)

Peregr1n (904456) | about 5 years ago | (#29744409)

Why? Because you can buy a USB keyboard for five dollars. Where's the profit to be found in that?

Re:Overhyped (1)

revdrmr (1525775) | about 5 years ago | (#29744571)

I guess I don't see this as an answer so much but more like the star trek communicator from the original series. First there was no privacy everyone could hear you second how did you dial, what you just start talking and assume everyone who needs to listen is listening. But this was a great idea because took geeks like us in new directions of thought and reason. Would I use it, hell no it looks complicated and inflexible but someone smarter than me might use this as a platform for further leaps and improvements.

Re:Overhyped (1)

naasking (94116) | about 5 years ago | (#29744963)

Because slashdot residents already know how to navigate a computer quickly using keyboard shortcuts, so you're not in the 90% of the computing public that would benefit from a more memorable gesture interface.

Re:Overhyped (2, Interesting)

patro (104336) | about 5 years ago | (#29745027)

How can you over-hype a one-paragraph summary?

Five minutes into the video and I'm still none the wiser as to how this is supposed to be an improvement in the use of my computer, or more comfortable, or easier.

In my opinion, it isn't.

Putting all my apps into a single line and navigating that line is not efficient. I'll stick to Autohotkey which allows me to jump to any of my usual apps with a single keypress.

I found eliminating the mouse as much as possible and finding convenient keyboard shortcuts is the key to efficient computer use. Using a touchpad which is just an other kind of mouse is not the solution. For computer newbies it may be, but not for seasoned users.

^wwot fp (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744183)

share. FreeBSD is argued by Eric It's best to try OS. Now BSDI is has steadily vary for different Theo de RRadt, one Raise or lower the isn't a lemonad0e

stretching to type (3, Insightful)

koekepeer (197127) | about 5 years ago | (#29744185)

I love the concept, but I imagine myself stretching over the touchpad area to type, which wouldn't be very ergonomical. I can also imagine that the base of my palms would rest on the touchpad area occasionally as I type.

Re:stretching to type (1)

usasma (1278674) | about 5 years ago | (#29744267)

But couldn't the "keyboard" adapt/learn one's keystroke/handspan? While the keystroke would be limited to the flat surface, software could interpret the direction and force of the key strike and could interpret the desired key.

Re:stretching to type (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744481)

Your touchpad does not switch temporarily off when typing? like, with syndaemon?

It's an interesting implementation (4, Interesting)

r_jensen11 (598210) | about 5 years ago | (#29744187)

But I'm not sure how many people will be wanting to drag their fingers across a surface for 8 hours a day. One of the benefits of a mouse over a touch service is that there's less friction for the hands- all of the rubbing of objects is between the mouse and the surface.

Can I see this replacing the mouse? No.

Can I see this supplementing the mouse? Yes

Can I see this being placed with a mouse and keyboard? No- the combined three objects would take up too much space (who really has that much desk space?)

Re:It's an interesting implementation (4, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 5 years ago | (#29744317)

I use a track pad all day. It's no problem. I even still have fingerprints.

Re:It's an interesting implementation (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 5 years ago | (#29744609)

I still think a TrackBall (Logitech Marble Tracman FTW!) is superior to a mouse in most situations, and even a trackpad is to a degree. This input device would be useful in some cases, but for day to day use, I don't think so.

That's it, I'm patenting a trackball system with a ball under each finger.

Re:It's an interesting implementation (1)

D Ninja (825055) | about 5 years ago | (#29744635)

But I'm not sure how many people will be wanting to drag their fingers across a surface for 8 hours a day. One of the benefits of a mouse over a touch service is that there's less friction for the hands- all of the rubbing of objects is between the mouse and the surface.

Aren't there people who use a laptop all day long?

Re:It's an interesting implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744773)

Next they'll ask us to press buttons all day long. Oh wait..

Anyways I don't see the frakkin point in having windows at all. Just clutteres up the screen, how about ctrl-alt-[arrow] or ctrl-atl-[number/char] switches between applications which are all in fullscreen mode.

Nor do I really need any feedback for typing, why not just display (customizable) keyboard layout on a LCD touch panel with a quick switch button to pointer mode.
Voila, all in one device.

Imagine typing away on the belly of some hot babe.

Re:It's an interesting implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744787)

I think this could be combined with the concept of the Wacom tablet. It has a mouse that can rest on top of the tablet itself and just communicates with the tablet to gets its position. So, if you went that route, you could have the "virtual keyboard", a mouse, or multitouch on the same pad.

Re:It's an interesting implementation (4, Informative)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 5 years ago | (#29745159)

Apple's multitouch trackpads on their current notebook lines have it right. In fact, they are so good that I wish they would sell a stand alone trackpad to add onto a desktop keyboard. Using gestures to scroll around a window and two finger click or hold and drag are often much faster than moving around with a mouse.

Not that I would ever get rid of a mouse, except (potentially) on a media system with a limited physical keyboard.

Needs a curved surface (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744235)

The flat surface is not ideal from an ergonomic point of view. The touch-sensitive surface should be curved so that the user's hands can be held at a more natural angle. Preferably two domes of soft, touch-sensitive material, and two small raised dots on the top for tactile positioning. Hm? what? sorry, I drifted off there for a moment... what were we talking about?

Re:Needs a curved surface (1)

agentgonzo (1026204) | about 5 years ago | (#29744353)

This is one of the occasions where slashdot should allow you to have more than one modifyer for a post. This is both informative AND funny! Kudos to you.

It's the only intuitive interface (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 5 years ago | (#29744887)

And one of the most obvious choices in a slashdot can you go wrong?

I think they're just a bit off. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744253)

Put this functionality ON the keyboard and you've got yourself a deal.

Practicing this sort of movement on my E5500 keyboard, I think I would have no problem typing and using the KB surface for manipulation, assuming it could be done.

Sucks to be missing any fingers.. (1)

willy_me (212994) | about 5 years ago | (#29744257)

Should a desktop GUI paradigm like this take hold, how would those with disabilities use it? Managing multiple pointers is physically impossible for some people. The GUI has to be usable with only one such pointer. Sure it can be better with more, but it must be usable with only one.

Re:Sucks to be missing any fingers.. (1)

Robin47 (1379745) | about 5 years ago | (#29744463)

Not only that, but I am deaf and wear hearing aids. The use of background music really interferes with my ability to process the voice over for the video. I had to listen several times to pick out much of what was said although I found the visual part fascinating. I guess CC is too much to ask as an option. Some irony there, trying to produce such a quality presentation on multitouch input that it overloads my capacity to process the output. So it goes, more my problem then anyone else's.

Re:Sucks to be missing any fingers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744613)

How do you think *I* feel ?

I'm blind, I couldn't even find the bloody start button for the video !

Looks promising, except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744275)

... it's too limited. For pure window manipulation it looks fine, but I expect it to break down horribly as soon as you get to move on to real work. 99.lotsofnines% of the time doing actual work I still spend typing. And I'm getting endless grief from the touchpad that suddenly decides I touched it when my thumbs were merely in the vicinity, like, oh, when I'm touch typing, which I just noted I do most of the time. Now imagine that touchpad expanded to be posively unavoidable.

I don't want a mouse. I want my trackpoint back.

Re:Looks promising, except... (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about 5 years ago | (#29745003)

Modern laptops and modern OS's recognize when you are typing and turn off the touchpad while doing so. I've never had this issue on my Macbook Pro. Maybe there's a feature in your OS you're not aware of...

Needs a new name (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 5 years ago | (#29744277)

The name is too similar to "Tengu." Google that for a quick reason why.

Re:Needs a new name (1)

Canazza (1428553) | about 5 years ago | (#29744401)

"Tengu (?, "heavenly dogs") are a class of supernatural creatures found in Japanese folklore, art, theater, and literature. They are one of the best known ykai (monster-spirits) and are sometimes worshipped as Shinto kami (revered spirits or gods)."
Wikipedia is awesome []

Re:Needs a new name (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | about 5 years ago | (#29744981)

You must not be a nethack player if you have negative associations for 'tengu'.

Multitouch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744281)

I've GOT multitouch.

It's called a keyboard in conjunction with a tiling window manager.

simple != good (1)

loony (37622) | about 5 years ago | (#29744311)

I like the touch surface but that "simple" window manager is just that. Simple. Too bad that there is a difference between simple and better. Just like a skateboard is simpler than a car doesn't make it more suitable to go to the grocery store with.... After all that talk of "lets increase interactivity because you can't reduce 10 fingers to one x/y coordinate" I think its a little strange that they then go to "lets reduce x/y window layouts to just x"...

In the end it just looks like an effort in changing things just for the sake of change.


conventional WMs work! (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | about 5 years ago | (#29744915)

Like tiling WMs the ideas here are good for most people, most of the time, however there are too many weaknesses in this WM. This WM seams to have no provisions for people that keep a window(s) open at the edge (e.g IM window(s) on LHS) and use the remaining space for work. While i think this/a tiling WM would suit me 95% of the time there are those odd occasions when overlapping windows are useful (especially with compiz+transparency).As an example of the strength of conventional WM vs tiled/this, the other day i wanted to watch peep show fullscreen on a 2nd display, flash couldn't handle this, so i just stretched the non full screen version and used some overlapped konsoles to cover over the remaining space. It is rare that I need to do something so convoluted, but I refuse to switch to a tiling WM because it would prevent me doing that, as this is appears to be a more strict WM there is NO chance. Perhaps what we need to do to "fix" the windowing problem is have windowmanagers that tile/horizontally stack by default, but still let you overlap when you need to.

VT100 (3, Funny)

thomasdz (178114) | about 5 years ago | (#29744321)

I like my GUI text-only, 80 characters wide by 25 lines long. The way Ghod intended.
oh yeah and 7-bit ASCII only... none of this fancy schmancy 8-bit extended code-page goop.
and GET OFF MY LAWN! Damn kids with their game boys.

some subtle hints in that presentation (2, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | about 5 years ago | (#29744325)

- iphone
- window button position
- dashboard
- expose
- dock
- cinema display

wonder what platform they're going to market to first eh?

Re:some subtle hints in that presentation (1)

hazah (807503) | about 5 years ago | (#29744921)

Also notice that the software used (Text Editor) comes from Gnome...

Replacing current business work interface (5, Interesting)

Dripdry (1062282) | about 5 years ago | (#29744371)

I disagree with an earlier poster who says this can't replace the desktop interface we know.

He points out that it is inefficient because one has to move hands between keyboard and pad.
It seems to me that this interface can be manipulated with just one hand. that's how the mouse works now. you take your hand off the mouse to work with the full functionality of the keyboard, why couldn't 10/GUI replace that?
Better still, why not have both! The pad can sense a mouse and act as a mouse pad. If you need to use it as a pad move the mouse off, or perhaps use both the mouse AND the pad at the same time (one hand each). I can see a lot of possibilities there. It could clutter a desk, sure, but I'm sure we can solve that problem.

Second, but probably more importantly, I can easily see this for the work I do, which I imagine is similar to many other people.

I use my system (two monitors) for business. I have data on one side of the screen and sometimes excel or word on the other screen. In addition (here's where 10/GUI could be useful) I'll have a pdf open in the background which i need to quickly scroll through ("in adobe, quickly!?" you ask?). With one hand on the mouse I can quickly zip through Morningstar data, and use my free hand (on the pad) to scroll through a document, then quickly zip back and forth, scrolling and zooming as necessary. Right now that's just using a mouse and it can be tiresome to move around with just that little pointer (especially morningstar! oh it would be nice to have a touch interface for that...)

Finally, I need to have a "document scroller" or whatever it is that I can resize and move around, as I find myself with documents that sometimes need to show different parts of their data on screen. Basically I need to be able to "undock" documents so i can use them effectively (like papers on an actual desktop) and then redock them when I'm done.

That would be a beautiful interface that I do feel would save me some time and frustration. I would buy that for my business.

Re:Replacing current business work interface (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 5 years ago | (#29744807)


You're not suggesting I use more than one hand at a time are you? Is that any way to watch po^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H surf the internet?

Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744419)

I am a proponent of change, when it makes sense. I love the interactions here and I would greatly enjoy this, for about two days. Then the luster would wear away and this would become an inconvenience.

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ion (1)

molecular (311632) | about 5 years ago | (#29744449)

Against cluttered windows, just use frames (ion [] ). Couldn't live without.

Re:ion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744719)

Manifesto... hah!

3 fingers to move an application? Read between th (1)

mastahYee (1588623) | about 5 years ago | (#29744511)

IMHO, an interface's success is directly proportionate to the amount of effort required to use it.

Three observations. (2, Insightful)

wadam (563519) | about 5 years ago | (#29744517)

I really like the idea, but not so much the implementation. Two observations, and one theoretical quibble:

1) On the hardware side, turning the multitouch interface into a second touch screen that could work as a mouse-like input device (like the video shows), or bring up a keyboard (like the lower half of the iphone, only taking up the whole space) would be preferable. A keyboard without physical feedback would be awkward at first, but after getting used to it, you could do away with a physical keyboard entirely. You could also stick meta-materials from the UI down there. You could have something like a system dock with quick links to open programs and switch windows. And you could have, say, the clock, wireless indicator, battery indicator, etc. down there. It would cut down on clutter on the main screen.

2) On the software side, I'm not sure that I see the advantage of their version of a linear window manager the way they have it set up. Instead, it seems more useful to fan applications in and out, turning the name bars on the side into tabs. Window one opens and slips into place with its name bar on the left side of the screen. Window two opens from the right, partially obscuring window one. Window three moves window two all the way to the left, leaving window one entirely obscured, except for a tab. And so on. That way, you have a visual representation of every window on the screen at all times. Much simpler to track than having to zoom out.

And my theoretical quibble: I know, it's odd coming from a longtime mac user, but I dislike the concept of a physical UI so closely tied to a particular software system that you have no alternative but to use them together. I look at this, and I fear "The Windows Computer of the Future." You buy a multi-touch computer that has Microsoft's future OS on it, and the hardware interface is so specific that you couldn't, if you wanted, chuck the software and install Linux. I can imagine a Linux-like alternative being written for this interface. But I can also imagine a set of patents that would encumber alternate OSes, such that you end up with a One Computer One OS system. Which is far, far too restrictive, and invites vertical monopolistic practices.

Similar to gestures on latest Apple MacBook Pro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744567)

In the end it looks like Apple is not far with the buttonless large touchpad featured on the latest MacBook pro, which permit gestures with up to 4 fingers that trigger expose, switch from applications, scroll documents and more.

A solution in search of a problem (1)

sean.peters (568334) | about 5 years ago | (#29744573)

We've basically already solved the issues shown in the video. Problems with too many windows: get a second monitor. It's not very expensive, and doesn't require me to learn a different desktop paradigm. You can also take advantage of various taskbar/Expose/Spaces type features, which (depending on your preferences) make the problem of window management a lot easier. Need more/better input "bandwidth"? Get a Mac laptop with multi-touch trackpad (if you're not a Mac person, ok, I can't imagine Windows is very far behind with this feature). But even this is a little dicey as it requires you to learn how to use the multi-touch interface - I've had an iPhone for about a year now, and I'm still not familiar with all the multi-touch gestures the system can do (it turns out that they're not really very "discoverable", at least for me).

It turns out that there's a reason we've stuck with our standard WIMP metaphor for interacting with our computers... it works really, really well. This effort strikes me as change for the sake of change.

Another "expert" interface that will fail (2, Insightful)

drsmack1 (698392) | about 5 years ago | (#29744591)

It seems that every time an "improved" interface to your computer is invented, they get more complicated whilst simultaneously looking simpler.

This particular interface perhaps has potential for the expert user (like most slashdot folks), but I don't see your average housewife or Grandpa wanting to remember how many fingers to use for what.

And just what are you supposed to be doing with the fingers not touching the screen? Hold them in the air?

How about your left hand? Keep it in your pocket until you need a context menu?

I'm guessing you will still need a keyboard; where is that supposed to fit on your desk?

Apple got it right with the iPhone - by restricting the buttons and losing the stylus they have greatly simplified the interface.

*I* personally miss the hardware buttons from my Windows phone and taskbar - but those things were sacrificed for the greater good.

This problem has been solved on my desktop (1)

Kelsin5 (741493) | about 5 years ago | (#29744643)

On linux, I use a windows manager that lets me bind keys for "goto firefox" or "goto emacs". Or I use virtual desktops basically for the same thing. On my mac I can use Quicksilver for the same task. Some pre-defined, determined key combination that brings me directly where I want to go. Any task not in my day to day works with expose, or alt tab, etc. Often Quicksilver solves this task quicker than these methods anyway. No zooming over a list, or stack, or grid, or anything. The keyboard alone can already solve these tasks with the mouse providing extra support when needed. While the video was cool, I don't think it solves any issues that can't already be solved in a much easier fashion.

Re:This problem has been solved on my desktop (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 5 years ago | (#29745043)

The same problem with keyboard shortcuts will haunt the ten finger interface - too many options. Two button mice are too complicated for mac users, and half of the windows users forget about the right button. The interface is slick, but requires too much training. It has the added problem of significant manual dexterity required. I have all sorts of problems with my touch phone mis-interpreting taps at the beginning of glides. My netbook has no barrier between the space bar and the touchpad, resulting in the occasional cursor jump if my thumb or palm should stray too close during a spacebar strike.

Picking and clicking, as the CAD guys like to call it, is very inefficient - but it also requires very little training. I use keyboard shortcuts for as much as I can, and in CAD I know most commands by name and can type them (or the 1 to 3 letter shortcuts) very quickly. Far quicker than my drafter who uses toolbars. Still, he's not inefficient - he could get 10% faster, but it would require more training and practice. It's not worth it to him.

I agree it's a cool interface - and if I had a drafting table that was a 62", QHD touchscreen, it might be awesome...if I could keep my hands from accidentally registering clicks when I didn't want them too.

Virtuoso Users only! (4, Interesting)

starglider29a (719559) | about 5 years ago | (#29744653)

Yes, this is slick. Yes, it's an improvement. Yes, this will happen. But...

Having seen people have trouble with pressing control and clicking at the same time (to deselect a single item), I foresee a chilly reception, user frustration and a training issue. 10GUI is like playing Mozart among people only able to manage Chop Sticks.

I see this as stratifying feature... the have's and have not, the able and the un-able. I would request this for my workflow, but the run of the mill admins would be stuck with the keyboard. Aside from the social aspect, there is the difficult task of convincing the boss that "you need this, even if the others don't". Good luck with that.

I have grown to hate the windowing paradigm for all the reasons cited. I'm not convinced that the linear arrangement is an improvement. I'm more in favor of multiple monitors, the main screen for the primary task and satellites with multiple windows for ancillary tasks. 10GUI doesn't address this.

going in circles (4, Insightful)

jipn4 (1367823) | about 5 years ago | (#29744657)

Apple got its multitouch technology by buying a company called FingerWorks. FingerWorks' primary product was just like what 10/GUI describes: a multitouch surface that could either replace they keyboard or the mouse(pad). It largely failed in the market.

People use the keyboard and mouse because they really work well. If people did want more DOF, it would be easy to add more sensors to a standard mouse, for example to record twisting, pushing, and other pressures, but even that isn't catching on.

Another idea that keeps bubbling up is the idea of pressure sensitive keyboards; they also keep failing because the resulting interactions just become too complex and add little benefit.

The real flaw in all these devices is the assumption that the limiting factor in communicating with machines is they "bandwidth" of they keyboard and mouse. It really isn't. Generally, people can think no faster than they can type and mouse, and speeding up the keyboard or mouse any further is pointless.

Not quite.... (2, Informative)

neuromountain (1255052) | about 5 years ago | (#29744659)

little behind these guys: [] Doncha think?

Re:Not quite.... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about 5 years ago | (#29744799)

not sure how actually useable this is over a workday, especially if your work isn't some kid of graphic artist.

Keyboard (1, Redundant) (660144) | about 5 years ago | (#29744715)

Next they will introduce a non-Cartesian grid of ridges with hybrid haptic and aural feedback, featuring standardized cartographic symbols.

Unfortunately IBM may have some prior-art with their model-M.

Application-centric workflow is a problem (3, Interesting)

argent (18001) | about 5 years ago | (#29744767)

Application centric user interfaces are already a problem. On both Windows and Mac these days there's an increasing level of application-centric organization, and that breaks the task-centric workflow badly. I normally have a separate workspace for each task, with windows from each application all visible simultaneously. I can surround each primary document with windows of all sizes, to the sides, above, and below. The 10/GUI control model looks very very good, and would work well for a multi-desktop window-oriented workflow, but the Con10uum user interface would be a huge obstacle multi-document workflow.

carpal tunnel? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 5 years ago | (#29744801)

This thing has RSI and carpal tunnel written all over it, even though it's a creative idea.

A few problems and some solutions (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 years ago | (#29744967)

I see a few issues with this approach, some of which I'll offer solutions for:

1) They can invoke an application menu, but not a context menu. You need both (even from the start the Mac has supported context menus with only one button). They could divide the left bar into a top and bottom half, where you could hold a finger on something and then use your pinky to activate a context menu (or perhaps just hold a finger down on anything while pressing the single bar, but that may be too easy to accidentally trigger).

2) Try pinching with four fingers. It's not very comfortable, at all (the only practical way is to lift up the pinky). The solution is to make that a five-finger pinch (to enlarge or shrink the bar).

3) With a lot of apps open (or a lot of app windows) the bar approach is simply not feasible - you have to zoom out multiple times to see everything and then the windows are too tiny. Instead double tap with all five fingers to bring up the bar, but wrapped around (so it ends up kind of like expose filling the screen as much as possible). Then click any screen to jump to it.

4) They don't show any typing going on. Obviously since the clicks have effect, they have to have a typing "mode" you enter. Hello VI for desktops! People always complained that Emacs was really an OS, I guess VI got jealous. My solution to this is that you keep the keyboard (which people want anyway for extended typing) and make the 10 surface basically a large touchpad off to the side of the keyboard (or even just below, though to be large enough to use all five fingers I don't think there's enough space below a keyboard).

Although 10Gui is pretty interesting, I think what we'll see in practical use is an evolution of the trackpad to control more and more things using gestures and multitouch. Awesome video though.

A humble submission... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744977)

Your post advocates a

(x) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to increasing the interaction between man and machine. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

(x) Users will not put up with it
(x) Poor ergonomics
( ) No one will build drivers for your device unless they own the patent
( ) We already tried new interaction paradigms with Dvorak
( ) The police will not put up with it
(x) Cut and paste doesn't work the way users expect
(x) Lack of tactile feedback

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

(x) Elbows resting on mouse surface while typing on the keyboard
(x) Handicapped or paralyzed users
(x) Sticky fluids on the device
( ) Asshats
(x) Susceptibility to data entry errors caused by cats
(x) Microsoft
(x) Extensor fatigue in fingers
(x) Won't work with VT100
(x) There is no add-on for World of Warcraft

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(x) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
( ) I won't accept anything less than a GitS cyberbrain
( ) The name of the device sucks
( ) Not everyone wants to learn how to play the piano
(x) Tablet devices have already failed in the marketplace
( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(x) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your
house down!

Palm Pre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29744983)

Looking through the examples it looks as though most of this interface has been accomplished with the Palm Pre already. Sliding windows multitasking, check. Multitouch input... check. Gesture area for system menus outside of the screen... check.

Linux? (1)

mcnazar (1231382) | about 5 years ago | (#29745025)

Yes Yes! But does it run on Linux?

Keyboard should do this (1)

lymond01 (314120) | about 5 years ago | (#29745095)

Seems like all this could be accomplished with just a keyboard. Tap a key to activate "touchpad controls" and then just use certain keys to manipulate the environment -- A and D scrolls left and right. W and S zoom in and out. And many other combinations to mimic what this thing does, and my hands never leave the keyboard.

I can has? (1)

dorque_wrench (1394209) | about 5 years ago | (#29745111)

I like it. I want it. I just wish the keyboard was part of the touch interface, rather than a separate peripheral.

some problems... (1)

master_p (608214) | about 5 years ago | (#29745197)

1) tiring to move hands from/to keyboard/touch surface all the time.

2) the easy selection of another window from the task bar becomes a very time consuming operation of zooming out, select window, zoom in.

3) redundant visual effects like scrolling and zooming.

4) where is the equivalent of the task bar icon tray? where is the current language and time, for example?

5) since I can't stack one window below the other, how do I put a media player, chat program, web browser and text editor on the same screen?

6) how do I know the widget my fingers are on? given a menu bar, with 3 items next to each other (File, Edit, Help), how do I know which of my fingers is on File, on Edit and on Help?

7) what about information conveyed by mouse over? with ten cursors instead of one, the screen will literally burst with information at each movement of my hand.

8) how do I work with maximized windows?

I don't think this is ever going to go somewhere. There are lots of usability issues.

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