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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. davethewave47's Avatar
      davethewave47 -
      i think i just peed
    1. staterunner180's Avatar
      staterunner180 -
      It would have major limitations on laptops. Because if you included this, you would need space for a keyboard and the 10/GUI touchpad, therefore ruining the laptops versatility and portability.

      Also, once again a break through is making my 2003 Dell 4600i Desktop look ancient...

      Unless of course they integrated the keyboard in the touchpad, then they would just need to make sure they included Haptic Feedback for ease of typing.

      Unless of course they integrated the keyboard in the touchpad, then they would just need to make sure they included Haptic Feedback for ease of typing.
    1. kaaroFC's Avatar
      kaaroFC -
      This is simply amazing, i would really like to see something like this in the near future...
    1. chemalito's Avatar
      chemalito -
      Simply Awesome!!! Cant Wait!!!
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      This is the future. Our physical interface with computers is going to change very quickly in the coming years...

      BTW, if anyone can help with this it would be greatly appreciated...
    1. juggz143's Avatar
      juggz143 -
      I'm actually using this
      and as you can see the mousepad really takes up minimal space.
      It'd be amazing for all that palm rest area to be a single touchable surface. Yes its a whopping 18.4 incher and it runs Leopard beautifully for those who care.

      I can't wait until something like whats presented here becomes mainstay, but IMHO it won't be any time soon like some poster's have suggested. Although I do think now would be key time for some total new comer to the computing world to offer a new product like this to stand with the likes of MS and Apple. Something like: windows-mac-linux-10gui?4example, just something totally different.

      I also played with using my iPhone to vnc into my comp for a while but it got old after bout a week and not real condusive to typing at all, was only really usefully for media playback otherwise I could do things like "web browsing" for example much easier by actually using the comp (or phone itself for that matter). It looks cool atfirst but gets old fast.
    1. Gustavo Saliola's Avatar
      Gustavo Saliola -
      Welcome future! Great stuff.
    1. jiniej's Avatar
      jiniej -
      This is good.. let apple have its way with it and it will be great.
    1. janHR's Avatar
      janHR -
      That would be pretty strange to operate IMO.
      Having to operate a large multi touch track pad while you stare at some tots on the screen... i dunno.
      Also requiring to keep you finger tips lightly touching cold also be an issue in accidentally selecting something.
      What about precision... and typing
      All look to be very impractical.

      I think I would feel a lot more separated from my computer using this method than operating a direct touch screen

      Obstruction is not really an issue and neck strain... well adjust the way you sit.

      Is still thing that a large iPhone like screen in place of the keyboard would be best.
    1. Gazoo's Avatar
      Gazoo -
      Can you imagine this thing in a laptop, touchpad only (no keyboard) with a new generation thin OLED display.

      It would make the Macbook Air look positively BEEFY by comparison
    1. Damada's Avatar
      Damada -
      Sounds (and looks) very interesting.

      I'll definitly be keeping an eye on this!!
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Wacom Bamboo Touch - Apple Store (U.S.)

      Same thing.
    1. elr0y7's Avatar
      elr0y7 -
      Quote Originally Posted by one1 View Post
      Yeah that's the first thing I thought of too when I saw this, I think his idea incorporates the entire desktop being built around the touch interface though. Seems like it would take a while to get used to, and maybe more money to buy.