2007: Year Of The Touchscreen
With devices like Nokia's N800 out and Apple's iPhone coming in June, this may very well be the year we finally embrace touchscreen devices as a more acceptable input method. Everything from mobile phones to media players to UMPCs to Internet Tablets to Tablet PCs have already been using the technology with varying levels of success. Of course, users have voiced their frustration when using these new touch enabled devices for some time as well. After all, the technology is still relatively new and user interface of such a technology is a rather difficult concept to grasp even to this day.
I think this will soon change, as more developers are finally beginning to understand how to bring better solutions to the use of the technology. Having access to an open platform for devices like the Nokia 770 and the N800 Internet Tablets help a lot in this area as well. And although Apple has over 200 patents on technology going into it's iPhone, the fact remains that when you have a touch screen in a particular device like this, it's the software that makes the most impact on the user experience of the device.
In 2007 we'll see more mobile devices as well as non-mobile devices incorporating this technology at an amazing pace, and as with every other input method to date, touchscreen input will be powered by software. The major deciding factor that determines what devices shine and which ones don't will be how well the software is written for the touchscreen. I say major and not the main factor because there still needs to be a good mix of other features such as memory, CPU, battery life, etc. (depending on the device) that will be equally important in the final product.
So let the touchscreen devices pour in and watch closely which ones have the best software and best accessibility for developers to continue the evolution of this great technology. And as IBM says, "The Future Is Open".