We know the score. Apple now holds a veritable smorgasbord of multi-touch patents, some dating way back before the iPhone, and some coming from their 2005 acquisition of a company called Fingerworks, and the innovative talents of Wayne Westerman and John Elias. But from whence did they draw their inspiration? MacRumors pulls the relevant quote from a University of Delware article:
"I had an ergonomic problem and I paired it with a motivation," Westerman said of the early inspiration. "I'd always felt that playing the piano was so much more graceful and expressive than using a computer keyboard, and I thought how great it would be if I pulled some of that expression from the piano to the computer experience."
Having suffered plenty of joint/wrist injuries, I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to type with traditional, hard smartphone keyboards. I abandoned my old Treo 680 when it was too physically painful to push in the tiny keys anymore. The iPhone, however, is nothing but a pleasure, so the above comments truly resonate with me.
It's also interesting to note that history aside, Apple is also looking towards the future, with job listings for multi-touch ninja "gesture algorithm" wizards.
So anyone else going to jump on the piano and try to figure out what iPhone 3.0 might hold for us?