I'm a big fan of touch screen technology. I have a X201T right now and enjoy browsing the web with my fingers and writing notes with a stylus. It comes in handy when I'm not at my desk and I don't have or it's inconvenient to use a mouse. It's great to have a touch surface for some tasks. Would I want my entire desk to be a touch screen? NO.
Possibility for some new interactions
For writing you cannot beat keyboard input
Where am I going to put my drinking cup?
Why does everyone who have a touch screen do when they get a multi-touch system? resize pictures. I'm guilty of resizing pictures for demonstrations too. There's just not very many good multi-touch programs on Windows systems to demonstrate anything multi-touch. MS Surface programs are not really useful for anything. There are a ton of iPad apps that developers could copy for Windows touch systems. To me it's weird that there's not enough buzz around it. Maybe with the new buzz about tablets there will be more programs.
What's something more useful than a big touch enabled desk? multi-touch + stylus input.
With multi-touch + stylus you can do gestures movements with your left hand and precision with the right. For tasks like editing and creation of art multi-touch can be excellent.
When it comes to writing you cannot beat keyboard input. Touch screens do not provide the feedback that you need. When I see systems like the new Acer Iconia and the Toshiba Libretto I can only imagine the pain of writing long bits of text. Is speech to text the solution? I say no. Speech to text systems like Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking and Microsoft's Speech Recognition won't do it. Voice is annoying to everyone around you and you, it's not private. It's a similar experience when you are at dinner and someone pulls out their cell phone and talk to their friends, it's just uncomfortable for the people around. Maybe if you are in your home office and it's totally silent.
When I was in Iraq and my down time allowed it I thought about a perfect work setup. I have a few ideas of what that setup can be. As I have said before, the ultimate work setup is that which allows you to do what you do in less time. That way you can get in and get out, and then go clubbing or enjoy life outside of the virtual world. Maybe that can be a little project of my own, the ultimate desk setup!