According to Joe M, LG is working on a multitouch display for computers. This is significant because LG makes the screens for Apple’s iMacs. Put two and two together and you have a multitouch iMac. Sounds nice, but will it happen?
HP already has a desktop machine with touch support, the TouchSmart. So, Apple wouldn’t be the first to market with a touch enabled desktop computer, but possibly the first with a multitouch desktop. The real question is whether a desktop needs multitouch support.
More features almost always imply a better product, but does the utility of this possible new screen justify its cost? I don’t believe so, and here’s my reasoning.
Multitouch—or pressure sensitivity for that matter—is almost always more effective in a horizontal orientation. A pressure sensitive tablet, for example, is much easier to use when on a table top than if it were to be mounted on a wall. Even look at tablet PCs. Many implement a swiveling screen so the laptop can be converted to a slate style PC to make its pressure sensitive screen easier to use. So, a screen like the iMac’s doesn’t immediately make sense for multitouch.
As with other relatively new technologies, Apple would have to promote the use of such a device heavily. They would have to make the interface very easy and tempting to use. They would also have to either convince developers to plan for it, or make an interface that doesn’t need developers to change programs. I believe it is within Apple’s ability to do this, but I’m doubting we’ll be seeing a multitouch iMac in the near future.
While multitouch is a great technology, it’s place on the screen of an iMac does not seem likely to me. There’s no disputing it would be awesome, I’m just not holding my breath. What do you think?