Multi-Touch: HP Gets Physical With TouchSmart
PC and computer makers continue to launch new multi-touch offerings. The latest example: HP has released some TouchSmart development programs to help ISVs and VARs create unique TouchSmart applications, in addition to interactive digital signage for both the consumer and commercial end of the spectrum. Here’s the quick and dirty details for solutions providers.
HP is touting that their multi-touch interface with native applications is going to give you the best bang for your buck and best experience ever. That’s a big claim, especially since many PC makers are promoting Windows 7 multi-touch capabilities. Also, Lenovo (SimpleTap) and Apple have been in the touch business for a while right now, but admittedly, neither have jumped into the digital signage business.
To get you excited about working with this stuff, HP has created the TouchSmart DevZone. You can download the latest SDK, completely free. It includes a bunch of documents and samples to jump start programing apps and interfaces for HP TouchSmart computers. This, of course, is always nice. A free SDK can let you see if the time you’ll spend investing in a HP TouchSmart application is worth your while, without having to shell out a few bucks.
The fun snippet of news that comes from this press release is that that HP has been working with Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Rhapsody and Twitter — all to make custom touch applications that integrate with their services. That’s big news for HP, and could mean a wake-up call for Apple who has yet to release any sort of full-scale touch device. And while Lenovo has never been big on the consumer-end of things, it shows that HP is aggressively competing to bring something novel to the media market.
Lastly, HP is also offering interactive solutions through the ISV Partner Program specifically for businesses. ISVs can register and have access to technical resources for tailor-made solutions. Although touch-technology is just starting off, it could have some interesting VAR/ISV implications. As a VAR/ISV, you could now potentially help companies looking to bring large scale custom-tailored touch-solutions to their employees for certain application interaction / productivity. Or, big advertising firms looking for a unique digital signage with a custom application.
Maybe it’s not a selling point this instant, but touch is undoubtedly the future of where things are going. The VAR Guy suspects this will take off soon, but for now — VARs, ISVs — what’s the touch-front look like? High demand, or novelty-play-thing?