HP Beats Apple To Touchscreen Punch

HP unveils a cool reclining touchscreen PC straight out of Star Trek

The screens have a 23-inch diagonal high-definition display that reclines 60 degrees and tilts forward up to five degrees. It is a wide angle display with a light-emitting-diode (LED) backlit liquid-crystal display screen. It comes with touch-optimized applications including Hulu, Twitter, Rhapsody, and Twitter. And it has HP’s own RecipeBox and webcam apps. The TouchSmart 610 model includes its high-quality audio Beats Audio system and it also has a free copy of Ubisoft’s real-time strategy game, R.U.S.E.

I’ve covered designing a touchscreen desktop before: Touch Will Change Everything

People better remember to raise the screen after use to thwart the Cat Problem:

I’m not sure that HP has the ultimate design here. The hinge looks inelegant, not like something Jon Ive would do. And Steven Troughton-Smith says the PC itself is too fat (he claims his HDTV is iPad-thin; I’ll have to take his word on that, I don’t go looking at TVs any more).

HP claims a lot of research went into this (see the below video). And I take their word for it because it looks like the result of research, not of imagination and design.

It certainly doesn’t make any sort of Cool Design Statement like an iMac does. It sits there, looking utilitarian, as if it came from an old East German factory trying to get up to speed on this new Western imperialist idea called Design.

The other thing evident in the next video is the multitouch is not as precise as what Apple offers. This is because HP uses infrared for touch (like the Sony Reader), not a touch layer over the screen.

Although this machine isn’t The Answer, it’s at least the first answer and I credit HP for that. Someone had to do this and I really thought it might be Apple or even Asus who would.

HP will be hampered as it always has been: Trying to add touch to that touch-resistant abomination, Microsoft Windows. Skins and customized apps only go so far. Users will hit the wall that will make them want to beat the screen with a shoe for taking away the touch-friendliness.

If you didn’t pay close attention to the video, you might have missed a very important fact. HP sewed-up exclusive multitouch rights to that game. HP is playing for keeps this time.

The webOS event this Wednesday is going to be much more interesting than I expect!

Additional:

How HP designed its new angled touchscreen desktops (video)
Now this is the way to play touchscreen games (video)

5 Comments

Filed under Other Hardware, Video

5 responses to “HP Beats Apple To Touchscreen Punch

  1. Can’t imagine raising my arms to do stuff on a big touchscreen. For small devices, sure. But not on my desk.

  2. Actually, Apple have done this but they decided not to commercialize the product since their studies showed that it would suck. They have said so for many years (decades) and most recently in a Q&A regarding the iPad. Fingers on monitors suck, people doesn’t want to touch screens on desks for long since it’s tiresome, and the UIs of desktop operating systems are not designed for touch. They are happy to leave this space for others to fail.

    • mikecane

      Steve Jobs also famously said Flash MP3s players is something Apple wouldn’t do. Also that people don’t read anymore, yet there’s iBooks and the iBookstore.

  3. mbaDad

    Actually, Apple has stated publicly that they have tried this, and it does not work.

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