Touch Screen Devices Are Bad for our Health?
Last year, a cockamamie survey came out from a shoestring scientific study which suggested that jailbreakers and iDevice modders had higher than normal stress levels when compared to iPhone owners who don't "tinker" with their handsets. Needless to say, that report quickly faded away without much great concern from jailbreakers - and certainly not a reduction of jailbreaking.
Today, however, our friends at MacWorld
dished up coverage from a report indicating that it's not jailbreaking that elevates our stress levels. It's the multitouch interfaces that allegedly do the damage. According to a recent study's findings, "finger flicking" on the iPhone or iPad is putting "undue stress" on our bodies.
Kanav Kahol and his crack team of supposed top-notch researchers at Arizona State University are studying whether "long-term use of multitouch devices could lead to musculoskeletal disorders." Now, before you write this off as a harebrained extra-credit project not worth taking seriously, the study is actually quite serious and made possible by a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant. The study takes into consideration the work and research of computer interaction researchers, kinesiologists and ergonomics experts.
“Multitouch systems might be great for usability of a device, but we just don’t know what it does to our musculoskeletal system,” revealed Kahol. While the research into this matter goes on, the initial results suggest that multitouch systems can have long-term negative consequences on our physical well being. “We would then take this data back to the Microsofts, the Apples and other manufacturers so they could use it when they are designing new devices,” Kahol added.
So is this news going to make us drop our iDevices and effectively send Apple on a path to bankruptcy? Fat chance. But the research, according to Kahol, may ultimately prove helpful to companies that produce said devices, especially as it relates to the technologies and design models that could reduce some of the negative consequences of multitouch interfaces.