[LINK] more on interface design

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Mon Jan 25 11:17:12 AEDT 2010

On 2010/Jan/25, at 9:25 AM, Tom Worthington wrote:

> Kim Holburn wrote:
>> This article is a puff piece on M$ Surface ... large ugly table  
>> with no  place for your legs. ...
> The ABC was demonstrating one of these tabletop displays at the
> "Realising Our Broadband Future" forum last December. Unfortunately  
> I could not see the point of it and no one from the ABC seemed to  
> have any idea of what it was for. They kept apologising that it was  
> just running a web page for selecting video and talked vaguely about  
> other applications it could have. What made it even more curious was  
> the screen was offering videos which the ABC did not have, such as  
> the BBC "Top Gear".
> Having a table with a display in the top is not a new idea and
> the military have had these for years, as an electronic upgrade of  
> the plotting table (the ones you see on the old war films with  
> little model boats and planes). But I have not seen them used for  
> anything apart from holding up coffee cups.
> You soon realise that there is no comfortable way to use a tabletop  
> screen. You can't use it sitting down, even if you can fit your legs  
> under it. You can stand up around it, but you have to lean over to  
> operate it. Only a small number of people can stand around the unit  
> and most of them will be reading it sideways or upside down so it  
> can't be displaying normal text of photos.
> A wall mounted screen makes a lot more sense unless you are re- 
> enacting the battle of the Coral Sea and even the professionals I  
> have seen planning the next battle of the coral sea use a wall  
> screen now.

I don't know.  When I read dead tree newspapers I often read them on a  
table or desk.  If the device was thin as a newspaper it would be  
usable on a normal table or possible to put on a wall.  After all if  
Apple can make a multi-touch surface that you can hold in your hand, a  
table-oid newspaper size touch screen all can't be too far away.

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
M: +61 404072753
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request

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