Yesterday wasn’t just about Apple and touch for phones, Hewlett Packard also released some cool new products, among them the Touchsmart desktop PC. Check out the demo here.

Over on GigaOm Stacey is a little dismissive on touch for full size machines, somehow equating an intuitive UI with being necessary only on micro display devices. I don’t get that – touch is intuitive, integrative and more akin to working in the real world. Touch will, with time, give back the sense of tactility that we lost with the move to two dimensions.

For that t happen of course we need third party software vendors to come to the party and create offerings that take advantage of the touch UI. This is the area that Apple seems to be ramping up – the SDK and the iTunes app store all go to creating a hardware/software combination that looks impressive.

That said I love the look of the Touchsmart – I’ll try and get my hands on one to test and review here.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Try holding your hands up to your computer screen and counting to 100.

    I’d trade mapping between my hand and my eyes for being able to use the thing without breaking my body. Mapping is a task we’re really good at (people adapt to image-inverting glasses in a few days), and a mouse _is_ tactile.

    Touch screens work well for kiosks where the screen is at about bench height. Putting them where we put regular monitors is an attractive idea, but have doubts about how workable they are for sustained use.

    The same problems affect touch screens of a whiteboard’s form factor. Computer-use is much more intensive and sustained than writing a few things on a black or white board. (And these have the additional problem that you tend to stand in between the screen and the audience.)

    Tabletop touch screens have the obvious problem that you can’t sit around them.

    Give me cheaper, better, and more portable data projectors.

  • What about grubby fingerprints?

  • By the way this is the 2nd generation of these computers – they have been around for about 12 months now – check and scroll down to a couple of pictures with Jay pointing to the screen on the previous version.

    What you might now know: the technology is actually developed in Auckland.

  • @ dan – I like the idea of a waist height desk and touchscreen monitor on that – I jump around the place and standing to compute works for me

    @ julian – what was that stuff called??? Oh yeah soap! But seriously – good screen protectors and a packet of monitor wipes have it sorted

  • This is such an ugly computer.

    I mean, it’s Ugly with a capital U.

    Watch it get covered in fingerprints and greasy streaks.

    And to those who say that beauty doesn’t matter, look at your watch, your clothes and your car. You don’t live in a tent, either …

    As Rod observed, HP just announced around 50 new products, and Apple just one.

  • @MF that’s pretty cool – it’d be good to talk to the people who developed this…

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