A Touching Development
It's been five years since the world was introduced to the iPhone, and since then, touch interface has taken the technology world by storm. Apple's operating system, IOS, made it possible to control the iPhone by touch. In more recent years, IOS and the competing platform Android have delivered touch interface to both phone and tablet users. These developments have changed the way we work.
This fall, we'll see a significant leap forward in how touch interface makes its way into the office when Microsoft releases Windows 8, its first touch-based operating system. It allows a host of other technologies to be controlled by touch. These include familiar programs such as Microsoft Office, as well as new hardware solutions such as multi-touch displays and Microsoft's soon-to-be-released Surface Tablet and Windows 8 phone.
In response to Windows 8, people who plan facilities will need to begin reconsidering traditional conference room layouts, as technology users in meetings will likely need space to stand in front of large shared displays. And as people become less dependent on laptops for access to programs like Word and Excel, they won't be tethered to traditional desks and conference tables. Employers will need to account for increased worker mobility by creating spaces that people will choose to work in over alternative places off the corporate campus that support postures more conducive to tablet and smartphone use.