Swaroop C H

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The meaning of Touch

05 Jul 2008

While I was cycling today, I had an interesting thought.

I always have my ol' iPod Nano with me while I'm cycling. As usual, if I want to listen to a song again, I click the left button to repeat, if I don't like a song, I click the right button to skip to the next song. But while cycling, I have to do this without looking at it. It is possible because I can feel the click-wheel and it has a good feedback so that I know when the press has worked.

Compare this with the touch-screen rage - can a person use the iPod Touch/iPhone without looking? From my limited usage of a friend's iphone, I do not think it is possible.

It makes me wonder which is really the "Touch" - the one I can use without looking (using only sense of touch), or the one that has a touch-screen UI (requires both sense of touch and sense of sight)?

Comments

Narayan says:

Touch and feel in the former.... See and touch in the latter...

Vikram says:

The best would be - touch to change the song and the device vibrates a little ;)

Swaroop says:

@Narayan Yes, I've mentioned that already in the last sentence.

@Vikram That solves the feedback issue but not the issue of being able to hit the left/right buttons, it's very hard to hit the right button in a touch-screen UI when you're not looking at it :)

Sriram Krishnan says:

Haptics goes some way in giving you this. There are other research materials that can simulate tactile feedback as wel

Swap says:

Why can't they include some basic media buttons on sides, bottom or top? I can't change the music while driving :P

Uday Verma says:

Well, its a question of your interface design. Placing a very specific button on an unattended touch screen (when in your pocket) could probably be a very bad design. Just the simplicity of single finger tap, or a double finger tap can distinguish between functionalities. Since you're already listening to music, the phone can provide auditory feedback. IMHO this is very convenient compared to locating a physical button when you're going 20 mph on a bike :)

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