Microsoft Research shows how to interact with really big touchscreens

Last week, Microsoft showed off what it thinks the future will be like at home and at work. As it turns out, Microsoft's future is full of really big touchscreens. That sounds great, but there's one problem: What happens if the touchscreens of the future get too big?

After all, people come in all shapes and sizes. It stands to reason they might not be able to interact well with large touchscreens. Thankfully, Microsoft Research has a couple of ideas to make these large screens easier to use and they share them in their new YouTube video.

One of the proposals is to take a stylus and simply touch the screen, which would then bring up a menu of various selections. In this video's case, it's to select which color the stylus uses to draw on the screen. The menu can also be expanded by spreading it out with two finger touches.

The other method of interacting with the touchscreen is with a smartphone, such as a Windows Phone. The phone's camera can scan an image on the screen which activates a menu on the phone that can then be used for various functions. The phone can also be used in a way that's similar to the Xbox SmartGlass app to control the screen.

While large touchscreens are already being sold, it may take a while for the costs of such screens to go down low enough so that more businesses and home can afford them. When that happens, Microsoft's ideas will most likely be put in place in some form.

Source: Microsoft Research on YouTube

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Nope, not for me and my work environment. Wouldn't aid in productivity at all. Standing for hours at end working compared to sitting at a desk with my arms resting at a keyboard and mouse does not sound better in any way.

This is just a move to try to get people to buy touch devices to try to get pc shipments back up. It has failed. Shipments are still going down. Touch has not revitalized the industry, as a whole, at all.

Good point! You know, I work all day at a computer and a fork-lift would totally ruin my productivity. I don't know why the scientists even reated them!

/s

this is garbage for desktop usage. you can accomplish a lot more with far fewer hand and body movements using a keyboard and mouse than being all over a touch screen. extremely unhealthy as you can see those 2 doofuses look totally zombified anyway.

You're right, it is garbage for desktop usage. That may be why the video is about research into working with large screens and not about desktop usage.

More great ideas from Microsoft, but it's just all talk. Hopefully they actually capitalize on these ideas at some point and bring them to life. I for one would just like basic syncing, like if your phone is close enough to your larger screen device, you can use the larger screen device to say, send text messages through the phone, etc.

ctrl_alt_delete said,
wait......what kind of keyboard was that he was using on the phone? I've never seen anything like that before. can someone enlighten me?

Is it a keyboard at all? It seems a honeycombed, a la WM 6.5, menu to me

It is very interesting how they interact with the screen using the smartphone.
What is more interesting is how "Smartphones" are becoming more and more multifunctional devices.... and less phones. This means than sooner than later we will reach a critical point where the actual way these devices are updated, meaning through OEMs and in the US carriers, will no longer sustainable and acceptable and it will have to happen the same way it is for computers today: directly by MS using a mechanism like Windows Update; agnostic to the OEMs that built the device and less than ever to the store where you bought it.
Personally I cannot wait for that moment to arrive....

That was pretty much the basic idea behind Windows Phone. Unfortunately, WP7 didn't start well on that, but hopefully WP8 and it's sucessor will.

Quikboy said,
That was pretty much the basic idea behind Windows Phone. Unfortunately, WP7 didn't start well on that, but hopefully WP8 and it's sucessor will.

MS has talked about it since WM 5.... and never delivered.
Hopefully by the time WP 9 or whatever the next OS iteration will be called, is here the OS will be handled as Windows already is.

this will creates job for optologist, as your arm are limited in length, your eyes will need go closer to the source of light, yeah

Touchscreens change. Your eyes don't get tired of reading the Kindle/Nook because their screens are different. I can imagine that happening for all screens in the future...

It's not just the type of screen that affects our eyes; it's also the distance. Constantly looking at something close up is equally as bad as constantly looking at something far away. I myself have astigmatism from focusing on close-up monitors pretty much every day of my life since I was young; muscles been so relaxed they've changed the shape of my eyeballs over time. I've been trying to strengthen the muscles in my eyes to revert it, but it's taking a long time.

I really like the WP interaction with it.

We had a multi-touched based large wall display at my former employers, I really enjoyed it for presentations and brainstorming/team sessions, really opens up the presentation, be it in style or content if you build it for that.

Dot Matrix said,
So, anyone still think the Start Menu is coming back? Here's your evidence it's not.

Interesting video.

How did you get that from the video? this has nothing to do with the desktop environment at all, this is large displays, ones you'd see in labs or presentations and has no baring on a general office or home environment.

JaredFrost said,

How did you get that from the video? this has nothing to do with the desktop environment at all, this is large displays, ones you'd see in labs or presentations and has no baring on a general office or home environment.

I guarantee you'll see these in the general office and home environments one day.

These videos all show Microsoft enhancing the tools we use in our lives. These are concepts which might show up on our PCs and tablets one day. And they all feature one thing: the dynamic UX of the Metro UI.

I guarantee you will not see this on every office desk someday, it's not efficient or practical for every employees desk to have one, it will be in conference/presentation rooms, that's it, a tiny market compared to regular workstations. it's existence will not affect those other markets, the same way laser pointers/projectors and dry erase boards don't now.

No longer useful to their plan to push the touch devices and in turn their App Store so they can take a cut of all those little apps, if their app store is successful it will bring in billions per year from other peoples work.

JaredFrost said,
No longer useful to their plan to push the touch devices and in turn their App Store so they can take a cut of all those little apps, if their app store is successful it will bring in billions per year from other peoples work.

Those other people are the ones who are finally able to make a living from developing software and selling it through the App Store. I have no idea how hard it was before the App Store, because I would not even consider making/selling software the old way.

LegendaryRamzi said,

Those other people are the ones who are finally able to make a living from developing software and selling it through the App Store. I have no idea how hard it was before the App Store, because I would not even consider making/selling software the old way.

I never said the app store was bad in any way, I was saying why MS was pushing the whole interface. though the push does show a lack of vision currently at MS, it could have been executed better and without forcing people.