Touch Screen iMac = Stupid

| Just a Thought

OK, here’s an idea, make a 22” touch screen iMac.

You know, it’s an iMac, but you make the screen so that you can touch it to do stuff on it.

What kind of stuff?

Well, you can make menu selections.

No, wait, you can do that far more easily with a keyboard or mouse, and you wouldn’t be smudging up the screen with your fried chicken/mustard/mayonnaise/gravy covered digits.

Ok, you can do those cool Minority Report gestures.

Except that the screen is only 22” and gestures really don’t work that well on such a small screen. Yes, it works on the iPhone, but those are a subset of gestures designed for specific purposes and for fingertips. Besides, the screens in Minority Report were never touched.

Well, you could use a virtual keyboard and tap info in.

That’s just plain dumb. Why would you want to tap in letters and numbers on a screen with two fingers when you can touch type it in on a perfectly good wireless keyboard that is designed for that purpose? And we still gotta deal with the smudge issue.

How about the cool-factor? It’s cool to touch the screen and get stuff done, right?

Both HP and Dell have touch screen all-in-ones and if they are selling it’s because of other features, not the touch screen. In fact, if you read through the reviews of HP’s TouchSmart 300z you’ll find that the touch feature is hardly mentioned, and when it is, it’s done so as an afterthought. If touching your screen is cool then is only cool for a few minutes, then it’s back to the keyboard and mouse.

Which leads one to wonder why HP and Dell would design a touch screen computer with a wireless keyboard and mouse in the first place.

See, to touch the screen you have to be close enough to it, which negates the reason to have wireless input, and if you have wireless input then you’ll likely be more than arm’s length away from the screen, making touching it a bit of a chore. Even if your keyboard and mouse is within arm’s reach of the screen you’ll likely use either the touch screen or the keyboard/mouse, not both.

And, of course, touching the screen means smudges that you’d have to clean. And clean. And clean. Again. And again. And again. Think of it as your iPhone’s screen times ten, with far less convenience. Similarly, a touch screen interface on an iMac would be gimmicky, serve no useful purpose, and it wouldn't improve anything. That's fine for HP and Dell, but not for Apple.

Now, Apple has done some silly things before for the sake of cool design. The hockey puck mouse is a classic example. However, I believe that Apple, like any reasonably intelligent entity, tends to learn from its mistakes (sometimes it takes them a while to learn, but we won’t go into that now), and I would seriously bet real American dollars, twenty of them, that the Jobs Crew, as long as Steve Jobs is at the helm, would never make a touch screen desktop computer.

Never, ever.

To do so would be stupid.

Comments

firestorm

Agreed.  My first thought was one of trying to clean that glossy screen.

geoduck

Absolutely correct.
A touch screen works on an iPhone or a kiosk system because better alternatives, such as a full sized keyboard and mouse, are not available. To add one to a fully functional computer would be silly. More to the point what would it be used for? Unless you were planning on doing full drawings on the screen it wouldn’t be very useful. Even then it would be less convenient than a separate tablet input device.

Let me update the old Nixon era saying:
Follow the Function.

Regarding any change to how a computer is used the question is not ‘is it cool’ the question should be ‘does it work better’. Gestures on an iPhone work better than the alternative; a cramped keyboard and a tiny screen.

Ben Lindstrom

Touch screen by itself on anything bigger than 9” to 10” screen seems overkill if there is an attached keyboard.  If you were to suggest the iMac 22” have touch and pen support (with at least 256 levels of pressure) then I could see it benefiting entry graphic artists that can’t afford a new desktop + a wacom cintiq (Mind you I’d at least want 512 pressure levels myself).

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I’d play Devil’s Advocate here, but I can do even better since I am The Devil. Touchscreens and touch tablets will be amazing for education, particularly K-6. Go into any classroom running a Smartboard (or similar technology) where the kids get up and “mark up” the screen (projected or large flat) using a giant pen/wand device. Interactivity is key. It is phenomenally engaging.

As silly as many of those HP touchscreen all-in-ones look to the technically literate elite, the teachers and kids just love them. And by extension, parents are starting to love them for the home.

But I don’t see Apple making a touch screen iMac without a serious touch revamp of iLife and iTunes. The iMac spec sheet is all about making those home apps shine. Apple is all about saying that anything worth doing can be done with its hardware and its software.

dubbio

the interactivity is desirable but then it will no longer be an “iMac”. it will be something else. imagine kids sitting at their desks with their iTablets uploading their math answers to the MacBoard and the teacher transmitting feedback?

Steve

Ummm….. I have never had to clean my iPhone screen… but I also can’t envisage a touch screen iMac

TanZ

Just imagine…

A thirty inch iMac with a flexible stand, with an elbow that can be bent backwards 20-30 degree angle off the desk for with the screen titled upwards for working on a desktop top touch screen. That same computer can then be returned to traditional vertical position for watching or viewing content.

In order for a touch screen computer to work effectively it cannot remain vertical. The screen has to be more or less horizontal. It could work, but not the way computer screens are used right now.

Lee Dronick

Suppose there are two different screens. A touch screen on which you can type via virtual keyboard, draw with stylus, finger, or mouse and do other inputs. Then there is a monitor to show your results.

Tiger

Good points here, but Vern’s dead on with his assessment. We have Smartboard overlay to do gesturing and such, but it’s on a 50 inch plasma screen in our conference room. A 22” iMac would be useless in an environment other than an employee’s desktop. And as the employee, I’d be silly to try and work like that.

dogwhistle

careful Vern…

Apple may just make you eat those words….
I heard lots of similar comments from ‘experts’ and ‘pundits’ about the iphone and its functionality, and now about the tablet…
They have changed the world and the way we do things before…

ilikeimac

After reading these comments I do think I’d like to try using a touchscreen desktop that is positioned where a keyboard is usually found, working with it like a canvas or drafting board.

I think this would be an agreeable way to browse, read email and work with files and folders, and it’s easier to clean than a keyboard. For watching long movies or doing serious typing and data entry I guess it would have to be able to tilt up like a conventional screen while I use a keyboard and trackball, but in its “drafting board” position it is nice that it wouldn’t block my view of whatever lies beyond my desk.

No promises I’d like it; I’d just like to try it.

Lee Dronick

careful Vern?

Apple may just make you eat those words?.

True, but his head will probably not asplode no matter what is announced by Apple.

mjkphoto

Hey, I think we need a display that collects fingerprints to go with all the reflections! I’m all for it. Maybe the fingerprints will distract one from the reflections!

Lee Dronick

Hey, I think we need a display that collects fingerprints to go with all the reflections!

The fingerprints will then be surreptitiously transmitted to the NSA where they will compared for a match with one of the usual suspects.

vasic

The jury’s out, but I will agree with Dogwhistle.

Throughout our existence on this planet, we as humans have been directly interacting with our object of work. Cutting, grating, drilling, sawing, bending, flipping, folding, drawing, writing… Our work was via direct contact. Then, some 50 years ago, somebody invented this concept where you would press a button here (keyboard), and something would happen on an object seemingly completely unrelated, 3 feet away (display). It was completely unintuitive, bizarre, we had to keep shifting our view from one object to the other (eventually, some of us learned how to not have to look at one of them), but in general, we as humanity somehow managed to get used to this concept. Still, the concept continues to remain unintuitive, and must be learned.

Apple had shown us how touch interface is far superior to any other interface out there. I have no doubt; if Apple had decided to push this interface down to the desktop, they will succeed in making the most significant shift in UI since the appearance of the keyboard/display concept. They already did a similar thing, introducing GUI and a mouse to the unsuspecting (and incredulous) public. If anyone can do it Apple will. And I’m sure, three years from now, Apple will no longer be bundling keyboards or mice with their computers.

Let’s see how right I am.

Vern Seward

OK, I did forget about the kiosk thing, that a real, if niche use of a touch screen. And I’ll concede to Bosco that the younger education set are attracted to screen touching. That’s a given, kids will touch darn near anything. Make it shiny and flash some pretty colors and they’d be all over it like Ivana Trump at a Gucci sale. 

For the rest of us, regardless of the level geekatude one possesses, touching a desktop screen is verboten and it makes no sense. If you buy a touch screen desktop you’ll likely not use that feature. It’s too much of a bother.

What I would like to see is a b*tch-slap interface. These would be a god-send for Windows PCs.

Got a virus? B*tch-slap the PC and it’s gone!

Flooded with spam? A two-handed b*tch-slap takes care of the problem.

Blue screens require special tap-slaps: tap, slap, tap, tap, slap, slap, tap, wait a minute then the two-handed b*tch-slap.

I think this could work.

Vern

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Vern, with the right touch-optimized software, a 22-inch iMac Touch would make a wonderful wall-mounted digital hub right next to your big screen. See what Gizmodo said about the HP TouchSmart:

http://gizmodo.com/5380088/hp-touchsmart-600-review-multitouch-multimedia-mogul

The touch stuff makes it more full time special duty appliance than general PC. But I do like the bitch-slap interface idea!

aardman

Sit in front of your desktop monitor like you would if you were using the computer.  But now instead of typing on the keyboard, reach out and touch the screen and pretend to do some touch gestures.  See you can’t avoid bending your wrist backwards.  Now imagine doing that for as much time as you spend on the keyboard and mouse when you’re using the computer.

Hello Carpal Tunnel Syndrome!

geoduck

What I would like to see is a b*tch-slap interface. These would be a god-send for Windows PCs.

Oddly enough I seem to remember that one of the Apple CRT models was prone to an issue and that was the fix that Apple Recommended. It’s been a looong time and I only vaguely remember it, but it was something like the Trinitron Corona wire would get stuck to the mask messing up the image. The official Apple release about it was along the lines of “Strike the display firmly with the palm of your hand 1/4 to 1/3 of the way down from the top on either the right or left sides near the front”. I remember thinking at the time that we tried to get people to NOT hit their screen.

dogwhistle

touching a desktop screen is verboten and it makes no sense

With respect Vern, I think you are still thinking “inside the box”. Your doubts are founded on the idea of a touch interface overlaid on existing hardware and GUI parameters. If it happens, I’d say that we will be talking about a whole new way of interacting with technology that far beyond our current modes.
(I remember scoffing at the mouse!)
Hopefully, this new ‘creation’ will really be that kind of milestone.
I bought my 2-year-old a refurb ipod touch for christmas so I could get my iphone back. He is now using all kinds of apps and games in some surprising ways - even showing his older brothers a trick or two.
Because he has now preconceptions, he adapts to everything without prejudice. He even plays some games sideways!
Keep your mind open.

CudaBoy

I agree wholeheartedly with Vern, in fact I remember getting flamed for my opinion(s) given months ago when the thread was something about “What do you envision for the GUI of the future?”
Not only funky fingerprints and grime all over the glass, but ergonomically it is STUPID. If you have to raise your elbows off the table let alone point and touch, it makes zero sense compared to mouse and keys.
If you can wave a finger without touching the screen for a couple functions like scrolling and enlarging windows, that would be neat but if you have to TOUCH a screen - no way is that cool, IMO.

woode

There’s a simple physiological reason why there won’t be a touch-screen iMac. Try working holding your hands in front of your face making small movements for a long period of time. It hurts! It’s also fondly called gorilla arm. http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/G/gorilla-arm.html

Past manufacturers have been there and done that, and it hasn’t worked. You won’t see widespread touch-enabled desktop-style computers. Tablets yes. Laptops, maybe. And, IMO, a 22-inch tablet isn’t an iMac.

Peter

And, of course, touching the screen means smudges that you?d have to clean. And clean. And clean. Again. And again. And again.

While I agree with the general statement that a touch-screen on an iMac is more of gimmick, Apple has “oleophobic” screens which resist fingerprints and the like.  You probably have one on your iPhone 3GS.

Vern Seward

I hear ya Dogwhistle, and I do try to keep an open mind, but a touch screen iMac just does not compute.

I’ve played with HP’s touch screen computer for a bit, and it’s interesting, but the first thing I noticed was the extra steps I had to take to do anything that engaged the touch screen.

If you are fully into an app that fully use that feature then the experience gets better, and I can believe that people can find interesting ways to use a touch screen. For them there’s HP and Dell.

Apple has to keep things fresh WHILE keeping it useful WHILE keeping it out of the way of customers. Tough to juggle all 3 but Apple seems to be doing it while making serious money. I just don’t believe a touch screen iMac fits anywhere at Apple.

One last thing; the iPod Touch is the ideal device for a touch interface. It’s small, but big enough to do something real. That’s why you boy can discover things about it. It does something real.

Vern Seward

xmattingly

Looks like woode beat me to it, but yes - gorilla arm is one reason Vern is most likely right. The other… enough people already complain about the super-glossy iMac displays, particularly the larger sizes. A smudged-up glossy display? That is as Jobs might put it, a bag of hurt.

Two scenarios that I think would make it feasible: 1. a less-glossy, oleophobic screen not unlike the iPhone, and 2. if the new iMac were a slightly different form factor that let you detach the display from the stand.

Not knocking PC users, but honestly I do not think whatever HP or whoever has churned out counts as a litmus. They simply aren’t able to merge software & hardware into something as intuitive as what Apple can produce.

gnasher729

iMac with touch screen is the invention of a journalist who puts fancy words together without knowing what they mean. iPhone has a touch screen and it is great. Windows 7 supports computers with touch screen, so it must be great because it is Microsoft. Therefore, Apple must release iMac with touch screen. That is the logic.

Straightforward implementation of a touch screen doesn’t work. It is only useful for a very very small minority of cases (kiosks), it is a horrible UI for day to day use unless you want to become a world class weight lifter. Now there is always the possibility that Apple might come up with something new that we never thought of, but that journalist who made up the rumour would have had no knowledge of that.

vasic

Here is the problem with the “in the box” thinking: you all start with the idea that the display is upright.

When you write on a piece of paper, or read a magazine, they aren’t upright; they lay flat on your desk, or are somewhat tilted toward you.

A completely reworked user interface for desktop multi-touch, coupled with a flat-lying (or slightly tilted) display and an OS that can tell the difference between a fingertip touch and resting/touching arm/wrist/palm, will most certainly transform the way we use computers. Anything we do with a mouse and a keyboard today could be done faster, more precisely and more intuitively using our fingers (or, when work requires high precision or accuracy, a pointy device, such as pencil/stylus). We don’t have to “teach” little children how to draw something on a paper; they take a crayon, press it against the paper and drag along. In order to teach them how to draw something on a computer, they must reach minimum developmental skills to be able to associate two disconnected objects (mouse and display) and discover the relation between them. It’s nowhere nearly as intuitive as touching the work directly.

Just like we humans had been doing for centuries, writing on paper, painting on canvas, dragging across surface, a PROPER multi-touch interface, with a proper operating system, with proper ergonomics (to avoid the gorilla arm syndrome) will cause next generation of humans to ask themselves how on Earth did people get anything done with such arcane, unintuitive and time-consuming interface (keyboard/mouse/display).

A brief reminder of a John Dvorak quote from 1984: “The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a ?mouse?. There is no evidence that people want to use these things. I dont want one of these new fangled devices.”

If anyone in the world has the ability to create new paradigm, it is Apple. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see where the tablet will takes us. I’m sure it will be a harbinger of things to come (to a desktop near you).

Dean Lewis

When you write on a piece of paper, or read a magazine, they aren?t upright; they lay flat on your desk, or are somewhat tilted toward you.

I write on a piece of paper flat, but my whole hand or arm is touching the surface. It’ll be interesting to see of such a thing as you’re describing can distinguish that’s just my arm resting as I write and not some kind of multitouch gesture. (And, when I say interesting, I mean “not likely.”)

As for reading magazines or books flat, I think most people read them holding them in their hands while seated. And I don’t know many people who don’t use an easel to prop up the canvas they are painting on.

Star Trek and several other sci fi shows have been showing people using larger than iPhone pad devices for ages. You just hold it in one hand and type and point with the other. (The bonus is their voice recognition/transcription is flawless, especially when it comes to predicting or knowing which word you really mean or that you want a paragraph, etc. smile ). I don’t think laying this flat to write on it with a stylus is enough “out of the box” or enough of a “new paradigm” for me, especially when Jobs says he loves finger pointing and Apple is all about multi-touch right now.

stens

with the right touch-optimized software, a 22-inch iMac Touch would make a wonderful wall-mounted digital hub right next to your big screen.

I paid good money for the remote control for my entertainment system. Why would I put a touchscreen on the wall that forces me to get up walk over to the system? A laptop (or a tablet) makes more sense…or just a wireless keyboard set up with a conventional media center PC or mac mini. I frankly prefer a laptop, but I can understand others might prefer a different form factor. I don’t see a non-portable touchscreen doing anything important in a home theater-type setup.

chicknfood

I’m thinking more along the lines of a touch-iMac to supplement a keyboard and mouse setup. even better, think of using a mousepad or iTablet as gesture pad http://10gui.com/
they’ve got the right idea there. Too ergonomically painful to write vertical and if you put the screen on the table, your neck cramps. The solution is to have the screen upright with an input device on the table that mimics a touch-screen.

Of course, you’d have to drastically change or simplify the way the OS currently works and is setup. A new OS down the road, touch-screen and hardware now as an afterthought…

OldGuy

Sorry, but I think you are missing the point. 

Much like a tablet the touch interface on an All-in-One is to let you maneuver through already created content.  Web, Netflix, recipes, Youtube, etc.  All those things where you are just clicking and scrolling.  It is truly a kitchen or family room computer.  Wireless keyboard and mouse for convenience and to keep the counter tops easy to wipe, not for distance use, although it could. 

I agree that a touchscreen iMac would have to let you tilt the screen to a far greater range than the current iMacs, so you could stand close to it and use it without having to crouch down (we are tall in my household). And it might be better on a 27inch instead of 22.

As far as cleaning the screen—hey it’s glass, just grab the spray and wipe it off.  Not a big deal.

But, in the end, I don’t think Apple will do it, because HP already has.  (I’ve probably seen that rather cool HP commercial 50 times on Hulu.) For Apple to add a touch screen without some other major change, does not meet the Steve Jobs coolness factor.

CudaBoy

As far as cleaning the screen?hey it?s glass, just grab the spray and wipe it off.  Not a big deal.

But, in the end, I don?t think Apple will do it, because HP already has.

Huh? That’s one of the big points…I don’t have to clean my monitors at all (well, once every 6 months) and I don’t want to start now. It would be a daily+ hassle.
And, HP has NOT put out a touch screen all in one as far as I know. They have some laptops.
The original thread point here is still valid - the iMac - a mostly VERTICAL screened all-in-one as it is now - is not a kiosk, not a ‘touchpad’, not an iPhoneTouch, but a computer and as such if we are talking about making the main screen a touch screen it seems NOT to be a logical or even cool idea. d:)

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

And, HP has NOT put out a touch screen all in one as far as I know.

In other words, you don’t know.

CudaBoy

Nice. Good thing I’m up to date on all things HP….not.  Let me know how that Touchsmart works out.
  http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/TouchSmart-PC/Touchsmart600-1050-screen-blanking/td-p/198128

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Yeah, Macs never have issues.

Here’s what I’ve learned in this thread. If Apple hasn’t done it yet, it’s obviously not worth doing. If Apple then does it in the future, it will be worth doing and will be an Apple innovation regardless of whether anyone else did it before.

Why can’t you just lower yourself just a little to appreciate something someone other than Apple has done if it’s interesting or maybe even tangentially related to something Apple might be rumored to be doing? It’s OK to be a fan, but being a fanbot is just lame.

vasic

Bosco,

Are you aware that your link points to a thread discussing Macs that were damaged by FedEx and UPS?? How on earth is this Apple’s fault???

You came away from this thread with wrong things. You apparently haven’t learned what the thread brings here. If Apple hasn’t done it yet, it can mean one of two things: 1. It’s not worth doing (as you had learned), or; 2. Apple hasn’t perfected it yet.

At present, there are tons of tablet computers. Apple hasn’t done any yet, which by your conclusion means it’s not worth doing, which, if all the rumours are correct, isn’t true.

When Apple does these thing (in the future), well, yes indeed, they are Apple’s innovation. It is so obviously clear to anyone that the iPhone was just a cellphone with web, music and e-mail. Everyone else had done it before. If you hadn’t noticed, it’s Apple’s innovation since it has completely upended the entire smartphone market space and everyone is scrambling to copy it now.

If Apple decides to make a touch-screen desktop all-in-one (let’s call it an iMac Touch), it will upend the (barely-existent) category (made up of exactly one model, HP’s Touchsmart). I have no idea how Apple will transform their Mac OS X user interface for (multi)touch, but I’m pretty sure that the computer won’t be sitting upright, and it won’t be shipping with a keyboard. I’m also sure of one other thing: it will be a paradigm shifter, and three years later, no keyboard (or mouse) will be shipping with any new Mac. And Apple’s desktop computer market share will be in the upper teens (at least).

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Back in the mid 1990, during the Spindler and Amelio eras, that attitude was called “NIH” or “Not Invented Here”. How funny to watch history just repeat itself.

And really, iPhone isn’t even #1 in the smartphone category! Frakkin hilarious that you think they have upended it and sent everyone scrambling.

The is no God but Apple, and Jobs is the prophet!! (Ugh.)

vasic

I would really love to see a better product, and I’d be happy to buy it. Well, HP’s Touchsmart ain’t it, and neither is Android (or Zune, for that matter).

As for “NIH”, it is present elsewhere, especially at Microsoft, that often makes big announcements about some “revolutionary” new technology that has already been in existence elsewhere, sometimes for even for a decade (like that font dithering algorithm in Vista that first appeared in Mac OS 7).

CudaBoy

Here?s what I?ve learned in this thread. If Apple hasn?t done it yet, it?s obviously not worth doing.

Now, now, no reason to dis the thread.
Apple didn’t make the first computer, MP3 player, or the first smartphone. Seems to me they put a lot of thought and research into purpose, design, and ergonomics (except for that puck mouse on the original iMac!!!) and then float it up the pole. Sometimes it clunks - see the Cube, or the 20th Anniv Mac or the Newton, but then Apple comes out with an iMac, an iPod, an iPhone, a crazy solid OS X and they are on a roll lately.
This thread is about the idea of a touch-screen iMac, and for the above stated reasons so far the consensus is no. Nothing against HP. It’ll be interesting to see what HP Touchsmart all-in-one, not laptop people think of their experience(s) in a year or so.

vasic

Unless you’ve been living on another planet, you must have noticed how now, suddenly, even Nokia and Motorola are making touchscreen phones. Before iPhone, touchscreen phones were marginal, expensive niche products that were barely a blip on any radar. And now, suddenly, everyone is trying to make them.

Why is it that nobody was so innovative before, and now suddenly they are all bursting with innovation…?

Vern Seward

Many of you offered suggestions as to how Apple could create a touch screen product. That cool and all, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

The iMac, in its current incarnation, but with a screwed on touch screen is stupid.

In my article I pointed to Dell and HP, both of whom offer all-in-one touch screen products that presumably compete with iMacs. I assert, and stand by that assertion, that these computers from Dell and HP offer no compelling reason for a touch screen beyond novelty and a few special purpose tasks.

There’s no in-box, out-box thinking required here, and it has little to do with whether Apple makes one or not. My point is that if Apple did make one it would be a dud,another Cube. (Which I have and am willing to sell, BTW, if anyone is interested)

I agree that there could be products that Apple could make that can use a touch screen, then again, I don’t see a bunch of large sized touch screen products around beyond the occasional kiosk.

Touch screens on phones work because phones are always close to the users and you have to touch the device to use it. A touch screen tablet would also work for the same reason.

Touch screens on iMacs or desktop computers in general just ain’t worth it and will never be more than a niche and a novelty.

But that just my opinion. grin

Vern

vasic

Vern,

I don’t think anyone here will argue with the main part of your argument.

The iMac, in its current incarnation, but with a screwed on touch screen is stupid.

No argument here from anyone.

However:

...I don?t see a bunch of large sized touch screen products around beyond the occasional kiosk. (...) Touch screens on iMacs or desktop computers in general just ain?t worth it and will never (emphasis mine) be more than a niche and a novelty

This is where I argue you may be wrong, and Apple might quite soon transform their entire Mac OS lineup (with the possible exception of the screenless Mini and MacPro) into (multi)touch-only, keyboardless and mouseless systems. And this part of the argument requires that “out-of-the-box” thinking mentioned above by others. I had presented a few arguments above, in favour of touch UI (and against the keyboard-mouse-display combo of past 50 years).

I may be wrong, though. I also used to have the Cube and thought it was a magnificent piece of engineering, as well as design.

We’ll just have to wait and see. Tablet (if it does appear) will be a very good indication.

Lee Dronick

I may be wrong, though. I also used to have the Cube and thought it was a magnificent piece of engineering, as well as design.

It was, but probably too far ahead of its time. It was a pizza box Mac cut into square quarters and glued together into a cube.

Vern Seward

I may be wrong, though. I also used to have the Cube and thought it was a magnificent piece of engineering, as well as design.

You’re not wrong. I really enjoyed my Cube, one of the best Macs I ever owned, but I say that with a caveat. The problem is not the engineering that went into the Cube. At that time many were clamoring for a smaller Mac Pro, something where they could swap out a card or 2 to keep the box current. What Apple gave us was a high priced executoy with limited upgrade potential. Was the Cube well engineered? Absolutely. Was it designed well? For its intended market, maybe.

Was it a dud? Yep! In the end Apple sold them for a fraction of the original asking price just to get rid of them.

I also am not knocking the out-of-the-box thinking, just saying it wasn’t where I was heading. If you do some of the things that was suggested here you could have an interesting product, but it wouldn’t be an iMac.

And you know what? I contend that ANY large touch screen effort from Apple would be doomed to fail. There just isn’t a big enough market given the current state of technology, in my opinion.

So, a large Apple desktop touch screen is completely and in all other ways inconceivable. grin

Vern

Glen Bledsoe

Having been an artist who worked on a panel on an easel I would warn anyone who wants to use a desktop computer in the same set-up to expect physical complaints. Lifting the arm over long periods of time leads to stiff necks and horrible headaches.

People with bifocals already have problems trying to tip their heads at just the right angle and distance themselves from the computer to see clearly. Add to that the need for the computer screen to be placed at just the right distance to accommodate the arm length required so that the arm is not too bent and not too straight. That’s going to create a miserable experience for the user.

Touch screens on desktop are just a bad idea. It’s not the same thing as a Smartboard (which my students and I use and love).

vasic

So, a large Apple desktop touch screen is completely and in all other ways inconceivable.

If by desktop you mean a computer where that touchscreen display is upright, than all of us here completely agree.

As for a flat-lying (possibly slightly tilted) large touch-screen display with UI software that can figure out the difference between the touch of a finger and a resting palm/wrist/arm, I’ll remain on the other side of this argument with my claim that from the moment Apple introduces such a thing (and I’m expecting it soon; within a year or two after the tablet), it won’t be three years before Apple stops bundling keyboard and mice with their desktop computers.

vasic

As for that Cube, it is about the only Mac from the history of Mac computers that has build around itself almost a religious following of fans, who continue to use it ten years after its original release. They have modified it as far as modifying goes, but they refuse to get a G5, Core Duo, or Core 2 Duo machine. It was an amazing computer in search of a market.

Hans

I use both mouse and pen. A touch screen, pressure sensitive, with a pen, would be nice. But I don’t see myself working on a virtual keyboard. Voice recognition, anyone? Don’t think so. Technology isn’t up to speed.

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