Well, I think Mouser has already expressed some of my concerns. I like the idea of a better multi-touch interface close to hand, rather than the silly idea of trying to actually use your monitor which is A: too far away 90% of the time and B: you don't want fingerprints all over.
Well, it was just a suggestion but I think you miss the part where I talked about covers for the sides and both situations are weird complaints.
One: any multi-touch interface is always going to be farther than any monitor because you're increasing utilities + you're increasing the base size of your desk area.
Don't believe me? Remove your mouse now and press the buttons on any of your monitors. Did the space really increase without the mouse?
Which is why as much as I don't mean to offend (although I was offended by your use of the adjective silly here), the idea that you want no fingerprints on your monitor sounds absurd.
It's ridiculous! You're already smudging a monitor with your fingerprints when you carry it. You already smudge it when you press the power button. You already smudge it when you use the other buttons to change the brightness/contrast and position of the screen.
Unless you have a humongous monitor that is as far away as your TV (which I remind you is only available to a select few), your monitor is never so far that your arm cannot reach it.
Even in that situation, it is ridiculous to even add the 2nd bit about fingerprints as if you were a thief in fear of fingerprints or even use the 90% analogy as if 90% of the time a regular monitor is so far out of reach that the common monitor today involves buying a remote just to click the power button.
Sort of select the window, click the button on the window and a screen keyboard displays and sends keypresses to that window.
Windows does have an on-screen keyboard as part of it's accessibility tools.
I know it may seem like pointing out the obvious but you make it seem like there's no built-in (well as much as built-in) on-screen keyboard in the accessibility tools.
It's clunky true but a pop-up on-screen keyboard really solves very little. As you said, no keypresses but you must also follow the keyboard lay-out that is in front of you.
Everything else is a compromise of where to put this or that piece - do I have this nifty big touch surface right in front of me and have to reach for the keyboard when I need it, or do I have the keyboard close and use a smaller touch surface off the right thus negating left-handed multi-touch, etc.
That is no compromise. That is sacrifice. It would be no different than having a tablet PC and a mouse.
Even if they are both at arm's length, you have to factor in the additional usb slot and additional wires and additional room ergonomics as you're now not dealing with a mouse but a mouse/keyboard hybrid.
At most, it could be a luxury gadget to many but it will not be a standard item nor will it solve anything because it will add new problems to the stuff it claims to solve. (Again, compare this to motion sensors on a monitor where not having/utilizing the motion sensors adds very additional space to the PC desk area.)
At best, it is a more juiced up tablet PC but who is to say that the tablet PC industry is dead and wouldn't evolve here eventually?
Yet no matter how much a tablet PC evolves, it will not change the mouse market because the mouse is still cheaper, of more standard shape, easier to figure out and is all in all, lighter and a standard in many homes.