Meet the Next Big Interface: Multitouch

The iPhone was just the beginning. Mossberg sees it everywhere
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2008 1:00 PM CST
Barb Marshall demonstrates on the Microsoft Surface at the Microsoft booth at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Monday, Jan. 7, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The iPhone was just the coming-out party: The gesture-based touch commands the phone uses, writes Walter Mossberg in today’s Wall Street Journal, have since been ported everywhere from the Macbook Air laptop to a Microsoft coffee-table-sized computer to iPhone wannabes exhibited all over the recent Consumer Electronics Show. Multitouch could be as big as the mouse, he says, in terms of defining the next generation of graphical interfaces.

Multitouch allows users to interact with data as though it had physical presence, responding to not just one touch but a bunch of different motions and gestures, using multiple fingers. It’s especially useful where a mouse is impractical, and the scramble by rival companies to add it to everything from laptops to portable data gadgets will show how versatile it proves to be. (Read more iPhone stories.)