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Why not imagine it in a way that works?
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Ergonomically, the flat surface is about as inappropriate
it is possible to be for a human interface. It sort of
if one is tapping a few buttons on a wall-mounted
interface, such as a doorbell or lift, but for anything
extensive, it doesnt work. I increasively notice the
of people to adopt a sort of held-back
about to pounce claw arrangement with their hand,
only one finger allowed to deviate from this unnatural
locked contortion, so that this finger alone can do the
typing and gesturing, to prevent any other parts of
knuckles or tips or edges of other fingers or palms or
getting in the way and ordering goods, sending emails to
the wrong people, making calls to random recipients,
playing music wrongly and taking photos of peoples
My solution, which is pretty obvious, is to stop making
screens flat. Make them the shape that human
can work with without prematurely inducing the onset of
arthritis. Make an android phone, ipad, iphone, ipod
tablet, clipboard computer (thosell be next), and any of
those sorts of flat screen handheld input-intensive
have curved screens. Im not sure which is best
or convex. Youd think that concave would be best, as
hand can just rotate at the wrist, inside a shallow cavity,
but I think this is a falsity. I propose a convex surface, or
an irregularly complexly curved gentle tubular surface,
around which we can rotate and pivot and amble without
having to avoid and dodge irrelevant yet still active parts
of the touch sensitive plane.
Your tablet or phone will be more like a trout or gently
I think I'll disagree. Because it depends on how the device is designed to be held in the hand. This link describes a device with a large flat (unfolding) screen, but has a secure grip for one hand, leaving the other completely free for button-pushing (or gesturing, although this Idea is somewhat older than all those new touchscreen gestures). [Vernon, Dec 23 2010]
Wasp T12 Speechtool
It's well weapon - ergonomics cutting edge, but a flat screen - missed a trick there. [zen_tom, Dec 23 2010]
||Tablets are designed to be held in two hands, with typing done
with the thumbs. In a rectangular tablet, such as my Galaxy Tab,
this is a very ergonomic and natural-feeling way to hold it (most
reviews I read about it indicate that this was the same
experience for the authors). A
curved screen makes it less pocketable, and pocketability is
one of the biggest advantages (mentioned in every review I've
read) over larger tablets such as the iPad.
||If people are typing on a tablet with one finger, they're doing it
wrong and need to be educated about the product. If they are
doing it with an iPad, they should consider buying a more
ergonomically designed tablet.
||I'm sure i have an App for that somewhere.
||Reminds me of Nathan Barley's phone, you know the one with the massive 5 in the middle because it's the number people dial most?
||I have a Nexus S on my desk right now - it has a very slightly concave screen, though you can only really notice the difference if you look at it sideways on.
||//Im not sure which is best concave, or convex.//
||Yet you're sure that the flat screen is not ergonomic?
||21 Quest, - eh? You cant use the thumb to tap,
type or gesture with. Its too short, not dextrous
enough by far, and is entirely the wrong digit to
choose from, given that theres eight far better,
more coordinated and nimbler digits to choose
from, according to evolution. The thumb is simply
an appendage that stops things from falling out of
the hands grip, in most people. Ive seen children
type using thumbs on their phones, but Ive
always dismissed this on the assumption that they
are simply closer to their unevolved simian roots
than they are to being human yet.
||Jinbish, - I need to prototype it physically using
block models, but I think the difference has to do
with size. If it were a laptop sized screen, or
would probably be inclined to make it concave
where it is as if our hands sit inside it, but at
iPhone size, I think it works the other way and we
need to ambulate around it. If it were a portion of
a ball, or orb,
there'd be a size where you could use it as both a
display and an input. Above that size it would not
as easy, but a bowl form would become easier.
||Of course, the fundamental flaw is tightly coupling
the interaction surface with the display surface,
when the display surface is forced to be planar
due to our technical limitations. Really, theres
no intrinsic requirement that the surface we
interact with is also the surface the image is
projected onto, unless we cant manage it any
other way due to lack of technique.
||The problem with using fingers to type on such a small screen is
that it's too small to use the same typing method to which we
have grown accustomed using full size computer keyboards.
That is how we have trained our hands to move, so muscle
memory causes problems. You'd have to invent a whole new
typing method to quickly use fingers on such a small screen, or
use a well and truly Baked kind of keyboard called Swype,
which is widely available (and apparently pretty popular) on
Android phones and tablets and allows quick typing with just
one finger (I, however, have been unsuccessful in my attempts
to get used to Swype).