Thread Subject: touchscreens
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From: Jim Tobias
Date: Tue, Jul 17 2007 8:10 AM
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Here's another wrinkle on the touchscreen issue.
We are beginning to see products with input controls that are based on
gesture instead of a single touch. For example, iPhone lets you flick your
fingers left or right on the touchscreen in order to scroll through entries
left or right. So to begin with we may want to make a distinction between
standard touchscreen systems with virtual buttons, and gesture input systems
that also use a touchscreen. (Note that there are gesture systems that
don't use a touchscreen, like some cell phones, the Wii game controller, and
some camera-based systems.)
A gesture system could be accessible to blind users as long as the gesture
could be read from anywhere on the active surface, and there was a speech
interface to the onscreen options.
Such a gesture interface might be inaccessible to people with impaired
dexterity, though, but a static, "classic" touchscreen interface isn't.
It's therefore possible for a single piece of hardware, running either a
gesture interface or a static interface at the user's choice, might be
pretty accessible overall.
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