Thursday, March 12, 2020

apple's touch bar can't tell an accidental brush from a click

In some ways even stupider than sacrificing reliability for slimness of their keboards,  I find Apple's touch bar infuriating - they somehow forgot to put in any haptic sensors that could an accidental brush (like when your hands are held above it, not typing but ready to go) from a purposeful click. When I hit the Esc key, I have to press down, just a bit, and there's feedback. When I click a button on a screen I have to use a pointer, and on my phone my attention is about where I'm trying click. Losing information because a resting finger drifted north of the keys, and hit "Esc" or, worse for like Chrome, "back", is just awful. Given how hardly anyone is looking down at the Touch Bar to see what mode it has reconfigured it self to, it hardly seems like a timesaver in anyway.

Well, Bob on the Lost in Mobile WhatsApp group warns me Apple seems at risk for doubling down on their bad understanding of human ergonomics: Mac laptops with Touch Bars may one day be able to detect touchless gestures.
As far as I know, not much came of Samsung messing with the same ideas in 2013 on their phones...

As usual in these cases I turn back to Douglas Adams in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, from literally about 40 years ago:
A loud clatter of gunk music flooded through the Heart of Gold cabin as Zaphod searched the sub-etha radio wavebands for news of himself. The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive - you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same programme.

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