In todays technology climate it is easy to believe that everything you have not seen before is also something “new”. This is understandable since it is quite difficult to know the background history of every technological solution and design and even more difficult to know how contemporary applications of that technology have evolved over time.
Bill Buxton writes about this issue in a short but very good article in BusinessWeek. He makes the case that “touch technology” is not the solution to every interaction design problem. In his effort to show this, he conducts a very simple but excellent design critique of four different watches that all to some degree uses touch technology. He shows how details matter in design. He also shows quite convincingly that touch technology is not in itself a good thing but has to be designed into a compositional whole to provide a good user experience.
Buxton also discusses the notion of technology development and reminds us all that touch technology has been around since the early 80s and that the designs we see today loaded with touch technology is not necessarily inventions or radical innovations, but clever (or not so clever) designs where this technology have been designerly used in new products.
This is a great little article that every interaction designer should read!!