Apple Tablet Tomorrow!

I’m caught up as much as everyone in the Apple tablet hype. I won’t really try predictions, but here are the two things I’ll be looking for:

OS — If it’s a big iPhone I’m not interested. OS X and I’d be hard pressed not to buy it.

Input — Here is where they can do something truly innovative, though I don’t know what. I would like a full qwerty-esque keyboard on the touchscreen, where the keys pressed are determined not by their location, but by their position relative to the rest of your fingers. So you lay your fingers down on the screen and start typing, not really worrying about where your fingertips press. Rather, you extend your left index finger up and to the right (-ish) and then your right index finger to the left (-ish) and then your left middle finger up (-ish), and the tablet realizes you were probably typing “the”.

The concern with a touchscreen keyboard is the lack of tactile feedback. But with a good enough algorithm, the type-and-only-sort-of-care-where-you’re-touching” technique might be enough to make up for not knowing where the keys are. My friend had a FingerWorks keyboard once that was entirely a touchscreen and it was difficult to type on. However, it allowed you to easily move the mouse and do complicated gestures without your fingers leaving the keyboard, so overall he was more efficient. Incidentally, Apple bought FingerWorks, so maybe some of that technology will make its way into the tablet.

Anyway, tomorrow’s the big day! Let’s see what it brings.

Tue, Jan 26, 2010 | For updates follow me on twitter