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ELECTRICAL & COMPUTER ENGINEERING

Spotlight

November 2007

The TIME Magazine article includes:  “It's touchy-feely"

"Apple didn't invent the touchscreen. Apple didn't even reinvent it (Apple probably acquired its much hyped multitouch technology when it snapped up a company called Fingerworks in 2005). But Apple knew what to do with it. Apple's engineers used the touchscreen to innovate past the graphical user interface (which Apple helped pioneer with the Macintosh in the 1980s) to create a whole new kind of interface, a tactile one that gives users the illusion of actually physically manipulating data with their hands—flipping through album covers, clicking links, stretching and shrinking photographs with their fingers. This is, as engineers say, nontrivial. It's part of a new way of relating to computers. Look at the success of the Nintendo Wii. Look at Microsoft's new Surface Computing division. Look at how Apple has propagated its touchscreen interface to the iPod line with the iPod Touch. Can it be long before we get an iMac Touch? A TouchBook? Touching is the new seeing.”


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