What still needs to happen, either conceptually or technologically, for touch interactivity to reach its full potential?”
Touch interactivity technology has emerged as a new, flashy and important part of our product suite, but still has a long way to go. Below are a few factors that we see need improvement before it can reach its future full potential:
The hardware needed for touchscreens is still currently at a higher cost than comparable screens without touch capacity, which is currently a prohibitive factor in the proliferation of the budding technology. But this is quickly changing. There are a limited set of off-the-shelf options based on the form factor of choice, so another growing area is the proliferation of new platforms utilizing touch. Graphics cards and other internal components needed to render touch-related content are more expensive and can quickly go out of date.
UI and UX (user interface and user experience):
Unlike passive (non-touch) platforms, user interface and experience are newly minted as essential elements that are just beginning to realize their maturity. Multi-touch brings an immense number of ways to interact with a user, but it takes a critically simple approach to get this right. Many people understand touch gestures through established platforms like their smart phones and portable devices, but that is only scratching the surface of what touch interactivity can bring.
It’s one thing to deliver touch devices out into the field, but the last great area to cultivate the emergence is well-executed creative content development for these screens. Many attempts have been made to deliver touch interactivity in various forms, but the point of failure can easily be found in the execution of engaging and useful content. Without that engagement to properly leverage the technology, it ends up being a gimmick to the user.
It is through the growth and maturity of these three elements that touch interactivity will continue to transform into something new, interesting, and hopefully, transformative.