Multi touch spreadsheets

MJF has a piece here wondering about the value of the much hyped multi touch abilities of Windows 7.

I think this would be excellent for spreadsheeting, what about you?

Imagine being able to swap 2 cell contents in one move (without some code/add-in)?

Pinching and stretching to grab selections or zoom?

Transpose with just a pivoting drag?

I already find I’m often using 3 or 4 inputs at once (mouse scroll, left and right buttons and control springs to mind) doing that on screen would be class I reckon.

Perhaps it could also respond to flicking the vees by closing, don’t save changes.

I haven’t (knowingly) tried any multi touch devices (and it appears Apple may have some issues with their new multi touch scroll pad) but I think the theory sounds very promising.

What do you think?

cheers

Simon

[obviously a 3d hologram thing as in Minority Report would be even more appealing but I can live with waiting for Windows 8 for that]

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8 Responses to “Multi touch spreadsheets”

  1. Jon Says:

    I think it would be really cool if multiple people could interact with a spreadsheet at the same time on a big multitouch display; when a user edits a cell they get their own on screen keyboard, etc…

    It being cool and it being useful may be separate things, but who knows…

  2. dougaj4 Says:

    It looks like a useless gimmick to me, but what would I know; 20 years ago I thought that the mouse would be a shortlived fad and was doomed to failure.

    FWIW, it seems to me that games interfaces devices have more potential for being adapted as a spreadheet interface.

  3. Simon Says:

    I remember being freaked out at my first mouse experience. Suddenly having 2 points of interaction did my box in – I was glad to get back to Dos.

    Using a wiimote would be class, imagine, one day coding by playing tennis, the next by snowboarding, and Fridays by boxing – ace.

  4. Mike Staunton Says:

    I’d put it in the gimmick category – the BBC reporter at PDC was having difficulty getting the touch to work and it took him several attempts to succeed (ah, the joys of live television)

    Not that I can’t remember the so-called touch screen HP 110s from the mid-1980s where you touched boxes (equivalent to say 8 function keys) at the bottom of the screen

  5. Stephen Bullen Says:

    Can’t see it working – in most of my sheets, the physical size of a cell on the screen (that I’d have to touch with my finger to select) is less than the size of my fingers – so I’d be as likely to get the wrong cell to move as the right one – leading to loads of errors from literally ‘fat-fingering’.

  6. Bob Phillips Says:

    In our sort of environment, it might look gimmicky, but imagine different scenarios and difefrent apps. For instance, an information booth where you start with a big screen on the wall say which is your menu, someone asks a question and up pops the information, maps, local interest, restauarnt lists, etc. One person could be looking at the restaurants whilst another calls up historiacl sites. I think the opprtunities for new apps are enormous, but in the information space. And how about dashboards, just think how comapnies like Business Objects could make a dog’s dinner of that, oops I meant leverage the advantage.

    On the mouse front, I remember going to see some users some years back to demo a system we had built. They had just got PCs with mice, and I said to the person using to move the cursor to the right. So they dragged the mouse left! That was acommon experience when people first got hold of a mouse, never could understand it myself.

  7. Charles Says:

    I like mice rather than multi-touch.
    It would be easy to build a 3-D mouse, we would just need a proper 3-d spreadsheet to go with it (come back Lotus – all is forgiven ).

    Even better would be using 2 3-d mice in combination – one in your left hand and the other in your right, and you could have multiple screens corresponding to different slices through the spreadsheet …

  8. Ross Says:

    “Business Objects could make a dog’s dinner of that, oops I meant leverage the advantage.”
    LMAO!!!

    Yeah that’s about spot on I think Bob.

    I’m not going to write this stuff off right away, I think there could be some things that this would be useful for. I’ll just let MS cock up the design of it, then spend about 3-4 years moaning about it, until the workaround becomes the standard!

    “Even better would be using 2 3-d mice in combination – one in your left hand and the other in your right, and you could have multiple screens corresponding to different slices through the spreadsheet …”

    That sounds like something Mister Miyagi would you have you doing as training for a big karate tournament

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