Near term future of touch and networked displays

Some things to consider today
  • I want a touch iMac, but I think the future holds something different: 
  • Today's iMac has a big screen with no touch interface.
  • Instead it has a magic touchpad, a device that lets you essentially touch the screen remotely.
  • Today we have AppleTV and the iPad/iPhone/iPod.
  • The AppleTV runs iOS but has no touch interface of its own. 
  • You can use the iPad/Phone/Pod as a remote for AppleTV with the Remote app.
  • But still, the AppleTV is not really touch-oriented yet. 
  • AppleTV can't really handle multiple touch inputs in a meaningful way.

One Future: 

A large high-resolution screen that can handle a number of multi-touch inputs simultaneously. 

Apps designed in this way would allow for collaboration among a group of people collectively working on a single task. Presumably games would be the initial driver for these technologies. But meetings and other kinds of collaborations could be just as engaging.

Since these remote-control devices (iPhone/Pad/Pod) are also touch-screen devices, private data could be displayed on those screens, public/shared data on the large interactive screen.

Another Future:

The large high-resolution screen will be the display, the iDevice mainly a flexible and nuanced remote, and multiple users will collaborate from separate remote locations. They either (1) share the main screen view and display private data on the remote devices or (2) Present a unique view to each user, a separate window on a shared world, not unlike the networked gaming experience we have today.

Both of these futures could be as little as a year out. (There's nothing to stop them from being a reality today.)

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