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Author Topic: Still weird: The mouse is more accurate than a finger  (Read 771 times)
superboyac
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« on: November 18, 2014, 05:59:16 PM »

I still find it weird that the mouse is still more accurate to use than a finger.  I've been using a touchscreen for a while now, and it's not even close.  Touching the screen with a finger should be intuitively more better...I mean, you're just touching the actual thing you want to touch.  Yet doing it with the mouse is far easier, faster, accurate.  Is it because of the finger-pad being too big?  Would it be different if my finger ended in a needle-tip?  I don't think so.

It seems to be one of the main things holding back touch screens.  What is going to be the breakthrough here?  I can't even guess.
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SeraphimLabs
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2014, 06:11:49 PM »

It because the size of the fingertip is far larger than the size of a mouse cursor- and you can quickly and efficiently adjust a cursor down to being only a single pixel in size where it can be quickly and accurately aligned by eye using an on-screen grid.

Touchpads you can touch of course, but the finger is rather big and awkward. That's why we have tweezers and pliers for precise stuff, and why devices were using a stylus for a time before touch-friendly UIs were really developed very far.
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Ath
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 01:38:01 AM »

It's because you have to hover your entire arm above the screen, and point at something quite small, like a pixel on the screen and at ~400 dpi they can be quite small, versus resting your arm on a desk and finely control sliding a piece of plastic (the mouse) representing a sharply shaped pointer toward that same, still small, pixel.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2014, 01:42:48 AM »

One of the problems with touch screens is the fact that as of 2014, humans still don't have transparent hands.

If your input device obscures your view of what you're interacting with*, you're gonna have problems.

* unless your obscured view is compensated for in other ways, such as tactile feedback.
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superboyac
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2014, 09:41:41 AM »

good points.
The more I think about it, the more impressed I am by the mouse.  Tough to say, but it's one of very few inventions that was basically perfect right from the start, what, over 50 years ago?  Pretty amazing feat.

i really have no idea what the next input device breakthrough will be, especially in relation to touchscreens.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 10:11:22 AM »

good points.
The more I think about it, the more impressed I am by the mouse.  Tough to say, but it's one of very few inventions that was basically perfect right from the start, what, over 50 years ago?  Pretty amazing feat.

i really have no idea what the next input device breakthrough will be, especially in relation to touchscreens.

I'm guessing a data glove of various kinds.

For example, if I turn my optical mouse upside down, because it doesn't need the old trackball-in-a-cage, the only "useful" part of the mouse is a 0.5 by 1 inch little visual window, and maybe the buttons. The rest is this big battery-and-mysterious-mouserey stuff that prob doesn't need to be there if they use smartphone miniturization (spelling?) level of tech.

So imagine a (pair?) of gloves where the sensor is under a finger. Then you just slide your finger around on the table/pad/armchair.

As for the mouse-typing switch, just figure out a way to toggle between data-finger and typing-finger for the keyboard.

Think for a moment how much movement is wasted to move the cursor to type a post, then back up top to close the tab, then somewhere else.

Question: Is it possible with current Win XP tech to create TWO mice pointers, color coded? Then you leave one up near the top for that stuff, the other does regular stuff? I'm guessing not, but then I wouldn't have guessed virtual desktops either! (Or any of a million other things!)



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SeraphimLabs
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2014, 11:27:55 AM »

Question: Is it possible with current Win XP tech to create TWO mice pointers, color coded? Then you leave one up near the top for that stuff, the other does regular stuff? I'm guessing not, but then I wouldn't have guessed virtual desktops either! (Or any of a million other things!)


Seen it, but not using two locally-attached mice. Some of the remote control and conferencing software I've worked with has two visually-different mouse pointers present during a remote session. One is the standard-issue Windows default mouse, which is controlled by the local user operating the mouse like normal.

The other cursor was a different shape and color, and controlled by the person on the remote end of the session. This cursor could operate the computer's controls as easily as the local user cursor could, but usually during a session was simply used as a pointer to indicate where the local user should click due to latency of the remote link making it tricky to doubleclick.
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40hz
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2014, 02:46:52 PM »

As for the mouse-typing switch, just figure out a way to toggle between data-finger and typing-finger for the keyboard.

Isn't that what already happens when you plug a mouse into a laptop and don't disable the trackpad - or tell it to defer to the keyboard when typing? huh

Looks like OS support is 90% in place - or already there. All you'd need is the glove and the driver.
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40hz
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2014, 02:56:41 PM »

I still find it weird that the mouse is still more accurate to use than a finger.  I've been using a touchscreen for a while now, and it's not even close.  Touching the screen with a finger should be intuitively more better...I mean, you're just touching the actual thing you want to touch.  Yet doing it with the mouse is far easier, faster, accurate.  Is it because of the finger-pad being too big?  Would it be different if my finger ended in a needle-tip?  I don't think so.

"Thick fingers" is a known issue with smartphone touchscreens, so yes finger size and the degree of callusing or "pad thickening" might be a major factor. There's also the varying conductivity, capacitance, and temperature of different fingertips. So depending on how you're tracking them, that can also be an issue. Musicians frequently have problems with touchscreens because the pads on their fingers tend to be thicker from playing. I have occasional problems on my iPhone with either hand. I have to use more of the ball of my finger rather than the tip to get good response. My GF has trouble using her fretting hand on hers.

Besides, what's more precise than a laser beam? Definitely not a fingertip. Cool
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Target
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2014, 04:05:39 PM »

not to forget that the mouse is 'controlled' so you can amplify or mute the commands, change speeds and/or resolutions etc

try doing that with your finger ohmy
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