Now in Papervision: The Future Is Plastics, I Mean Touchscreens

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For my late Friday afternoon non-post, I bring you a link to the thing I wrote in Time’s print edition on touchscreens and why they are the future. Yes, it’s mostly an excuse to run a big picture of the iPhone, but it also brings in Microsoft’s new Surface Computing initiative, which may — I actually believe this — in the long run be as big a deal if not bigger.

Seriously. Microsoft’s Milan product is just a big touchscreen that supports lots and lots of fingers at once, and can recognize — if they’re tagged properly — objects that are placed on it. It’s deeply unsexy, and probably looks incredibly kludgey on the inside (it’s built around Vista and an array of infrared cameras), but it’s so ridiculously useful that it — or something like it — is bound to become fairly ubiquitous. I mean, how long can the mouse really last as a pointing device, when we’ve got fingers? In 10 years it’s gonna be like Minority Report up in this joint. I hear Microsoft has a “busty psychics” initiative in the works, too.