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Touch me

Ever since those videos of New York's Jeff Han doing two handed manipulation of items on a giant screen and Johnny Lee's brilliant DIY videos of experiments with Nintendo Wii controllers, the geek community has had multitouch screens on the radar long before the multitouch iPhone or Microsoft's multitouch Surface table

Now everyone is doing it. Asus has brought out a desktop version of the EeePC netbook with a 16 inch touch screen, the Asus Eee Top. Shuttle has also just bolted on a seven inch touch screen on to the front of one of their compact barebones boxes.

But these are just touch screens, which this column can testify are interesting but only for the first couple of minutes. Six months ago Dell brought out a real multi-touch screen on its Latitude XT which failed to impress but just now HP says its 12 inch TouchSmart tx2 twist-screen tablet will be out for Christmas. Its multi-touchness is akin to the Apple MacBook's multitouch trackpad gestures. Which means you can expand and contract and whirl around menus and, er, that's probably it.

You might have thought that such a tactile activity as architecture could think up a proper use for multitouch.

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