Windows 7 touch comes to life at PDC 2009

All week long, Neowin is live at PDC09 and we found some interesting demos of the future of multi-touch screens. We found an interesting new multi-touch screen that allows you to paint using a paint brush.

The quick demo illustrates the possibilities of the new software and hardware combined for the future.

The first video shows how artists might be able to make a drawing using ArtRage:

Another multi-touch display that was previewed was a copy of an application available at the Hard Rock Café, but on a much smaller scale. The real size display is an 18' x 4' wall display that allows multiple interactions. There will also be other smaller scale models available around the country at more Hard Rock Cafés.

The video shows how easy shopping and customizing is using multi-touch and basic search functions:

There was also an Augmented Reality demonstration available this year at PDC. The game was based on the user wearing a pair of glasses and holding a board, where you need to balance a ball through a maze.

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Actually, it has been possible to use regular old paintbrushes with the HP Touchsmart & Dell Studio One desktops powered by NextWindow technology. These devices have an infrared transmitter/receiver array/grid built around the edges of the screen, so they can track any object disrupting the grid: finger, stylus or paintbrush. However, in order to minimize cost & processor load, the number of "gridlines" is limited. This prevents it from recognizing very small disruptions, so styli are nowhere near as accurate as on a capacitive/resistive digitizer.

As for ArtRage, I've been using it intermittently ever since I got my Touchsmart tx2 tablet, and boy does it rock. It also uses the native WMTouch API and therefore allows simultaneous finger & stylus manipulation, unlike Photoshop which is still stuck with the old WinTab API. The materials/textures and UI are also much more natural and the program is dirt-cheap. ArtRage + Paint.NET take care of most of my Photoshop needs for a fraction of the price.

This is the first time I heard about Art Rage. After playing around with the starter edition I have to say Damn! the GUI is nice great for touch screens.

I'd like to know about the touchscreen on this system, what system is this? Is it on the market yet?

The Hard Rock video seemed pretty boring actually, just zooming and dragging things...

If you guys want to see some more of a certain video posted here, please let us know and we will get a longer video uploaded for you!

Looks good but daught it'll go mainstream in the real world because of the cost, and also some companies may think that's once the novelties worn off it might not look so good.

rakeshishere said,
Who pressed Ctrl+Z button at 1:07 in first video :-\

the "artist" does, you can see him do it (keyboard under the screen)

well, actually there is a button for this in ArtRage, as fas as I remember, but "artist" fails to show that you can "ctrl+z" by touch too. he also fails at demonstrating actual multi-touch functionality and it's advantages.

I loved Art Rage on my old tablet. It was the pen type so you couldn't use your finger for anything but it was a lot of fun to just doodle all the time. I miss that thing. Might have to pick up another ones used off ebay sometime. Older tablets (Single core 1.5-2ghz, 1-2gb RAM) can be had for under $400 a lot of times...sometimes closer to $300 depending on specs.