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  • Vision of a Mouseless Desktop: Meet 10/GUI

    video via 10gui.com

    The iPhone has popularized the multi-touch interface, and created the possibility for the most significant change in human-computer interaction since the invention of the Windows/Icons/Mouse Pointer (WIMP) interface. With Apple's revealed patents for touch interfaces, and the always-just-a-few-months-away tablet on the horizon, it's increasingly likely that we're going to see more and more computer functions controllable through taps and gestures, rather than mouse-clicks and -drags. Tablets and smartphones, obviously, will be the first devices controlled by touch... but what would such an interface look like on the desktop?

    Enter 10/GUI. Software engineer R. Clayton Miller's self-described "crazy summer project" aims at nothing less than a full redesign of the human-computer interface. It centers around a multi-touch pad that lays on your desk in front of the screen, where our keyboards and mouses are today. Vertical touchscreens, where you have to reach up and interact with the monitor, have been found (unsurprisingly) to cause too much fatigue. With a keyboard integrated into a multitouch surface, rather than a row of buttons here and a separate mouse over there, suddenly the whole paradigm shifts.

    The mouse pointer and multiple windows go hand in hand. When you can only click on a single point on the screen, it makes sense to have a bunch of different windows in arbitrary locations, and choose among them at will. If you're like me, though, that leads to a proliferation of windows, until it becomes a real problem to sort among them... and you have to rely on a separate, external manager (for example Spaces and Exposť) to deal with your pile.

    10/GUI introduces a more intuitive, linear arrangement: new windows come in from the left, and can be sorted by gestures. In addition, the left and right sides of the surface - which can be distinguished by touch - are dedicated to "Global" (desktop) and "Local" (application) operations. Your hands stay on the touchpad, rather than having to move from mouse to keyboard and back again, which saves you time and gives you a much more rich vocabulary of typing, taps, and drags.

    The whole thing can best be understood by watching the video.

    Windows and mouse pointers had been around since the 1970s, but it took a product like the original Mac in 1984 to popularize them and create a familiarity among users for working with graphical interfaces. Similarly, the technology for multi-touch computing is in place, waiting for an application to prove that it's better than the interfaces we've grown up with. Whether it's Apple's imaginary tablet, Microsoft's Courier, or something we have no idea about, somebody is going to make the killer app that lets us interact with our desktop using more than just one finger.

    And then... everything changes.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Vision of a Mouseless Desktop: Meet 10/GUI started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 33 Comments
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      this sounds great and all but i feel like it would be really annoying for like chatting and such and would be pretty hard to get used to because of how it looks.
    1. TheNosyt's Avatar
      TheNosyt -
      This looks amazing. REAL multitouch!
    1. Simtech's Avatar
      Simtech -
      I like it but I think they would have to incorporate the keyboard onscreen as well to make it work well.
    1. Bill69's Avatar
      Bill69 -
      i like this but i dont like how the windows consume the entire screen
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      I like where this is going...
    1. Ticko's Avatar
      Ticko -
      i like it ...i think its ingenious and not that far off from the future...could be simple to implement just a matter of price at this point.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      That's cool but very complicated. That may took me a while to get used to.
    1. trevorrawson's Avatar
      trevorrawson -
      It makes my new macbook air feel old
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      At the end of the video it shows a large touch area integrated with a keyboard. It's not saying this would replace a keyboard.. it's saying it would replace the mouse.
    1. zatpgw's Avatar
      zatpgw -
      This isn't that far off of the multigesture pads built into newer macbooks.
    1. B-Mo's Avatar
      B-Mo -
      Just turn this big wasted space palm rest on my existing MBP into a keyboard width, 10 finger, gesture ready, touch pad and I would buy it in a heartbeat!

      Not so sure about their redesigned GUI though...
    1. stooovie's Avatar
      stooovie -
      But this is nothing more than a bloated Macbook touchpad. It's still WIMP, no matter how they package it.
    1. Bruno615's Avatar
      Bruno615 -
      That is so awesome!!
    1. knguyen's Avatar
      knguyen -
      I love everything about it except for the keyboard. It looks big from the illustration. Can't we have the whole "keyboard" being a touch screen and the keyboard display whenever we want it too? And who will pick up on this idea? Microsoft? Apple? I think Google should use this concept for their os.
    1. plcrules's Avatar
      plcrules -
      y was the keyboard behind the touch pad win im typing my arms will b on the pad the best thing they should is have an oled under the touch pad and make like a 5 finger gesture 2 turn on the oled screen 2 show a keyboard on it

      now wouldn't that b cool
    1. gcalpacket's Avatar
      gcalpacket -
      thats cool!!!
    1. tattoojack's Avatar
      tattoojack -
      i want it!
      would so run that in parallels!
      now i just gotta find that 10 finger mouse and a copy of the software!
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      I've been doing this for a year with Jaddu VNC and my iphone. Notice the advanced pinch and zoom moves from the multitouch. doubletap support, advanced gestures.....

      [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWhcbr3h53Y]YouTube - Multitouch control using iPhone.[/ame]
    1. kriffer's Avatar
      kriffer -
      So I would have to agree with earlier post's about the keyboard deal, and also about replacing my keyboard and pad on my macbook with another touch ready screen/pad and im down right now.

      So as long as theres no keyboard still, and it's a touch or some sort of onscreen keyboard i like it. Like literally if they could make my macbook look like just two screen's when I open it instead of the screen, and then the keyboard and mouse, then I would take it right now.
    1. bazookafx3's Avatar
      bazookafx3 -
      Im not gonna lie and say that wouldn't take some getting used to, but I do believe it really could raise productivity exponentially after a learning curve. Im really excited about this and REALLY hopes it becomes a reality.... Unless if something else comes up..