The Future of Touch

If you haven’t seen it already, over the last few weeks Florence Ion of Ars Technica has published a great series on touch screen interfaces, from their origins in the 1960’s, through to the emergence of tablets and smart phones, and on to some of the work being done at Microsoft Research and elsewhere within the industry.

It’s a much needed reminder that many of the gadgets that have been released in the last 10 years are built on some pretty fundamental breakthroughs from as far back as 50 years ago. And Bill Buxton provides useful perspective on the future, noting that the goal isn’t necessarily to create really amazing devices, but to create amazing experiences that are a natural extension of  the user. As Buxton put it so astutely, the real goal is to make the computer and, in some cases, the touch screen vanish into the background.

That’s the thinking behind the work taking place within Microsoft Research and the Microsoft Envisioning Center, many of which were highlighted in Florence’s articles. See more on Bill’s thoughts about the future of human – computer interaction from his keynote at TechFest 2013.