Human beings need space to express themselves. Eyes have a broad field of view, heads turn, and arms reach several feet in many directions.
Unlike us, our screens are small. They constrain our movement to small twitches of the fingers and a few degrees of eye movement. They’re easy to carry around, but they’re also restrictive.
The invention of the touch screen removed a barrier between people and technology. They allowed us to interact with computers more naturally. A desk-sized touch screen could free us to be even more of ourselves. It wouldn’t be just a new device. It would be a completely new kind of experience, peerless in the history of computing.
Imagine the way a map could feel if it filled a desk of luminous glass, spilling into our peripheral vision and inviting us to turn our heads. Imagine how it could feel to drag a finger across that map, and see a huge amount of information respond. This could be a transformative moment in human history.
We’ll always need mobile devices, but right now we’re missing the big picture.
Our attempts at full-sized touch screens have been limited to prototypes and science fiction. The images above are from the 2013 film Oblivion. If you care about interfaces, you should watch it. GMUNK hosts a fantastic breakdown.