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October 13, 2009 / TildeWill

The Failure of Awesome

Josh sent me this link to a touch interface for desktops. It’s pretty awesome (and pretty vapor-ware), but it’ll meet the same demise of all input device innovation: lack of software.

Apple got it. Multi-touch hardware, and a whole lot of software that leverages that functionality. But if I hook up a multi-touch input  pad to a Windows box, what benefit do I get? Not much, maybe none.

It is very much a chicken and egg problem. Developers don’t want to write (or don’t get paid to write) software that is for a minuscule slice of the market. They write for the masses. So that means you have to get everyone to buy a multi-touch input device. But consumers aren’t [that] dumb. They want to buy stuff that adds value, and if there’s no software, they’re going to spend their dollar elsewhere.

Apple had a compelling story with the iPhone. It wasn’t just, “Hey look! Use your fingerS!!!!” It has a big ass screen with a great viewing angle. It had the best web browsing experience of any phone on the market. It went out of it’s way to make your life easier, and oh by the way, “…we do that with multi-touch”. It’s the same reason we got mice in the first place – input is just a thing, not the thing.

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One Comment

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  1. gourry / Oct 14 2009 9:54 am

    That reminds me that I’ve been meaning to ask you… what are your thoughts on printers that have direct web access (such as the Photosmart Premium Web)?

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