Since we introduced the award-winning Latitude XT tablet, capacitive touch capability is one thing that set it apart from the competition. Several weeks ago at the Wall Street Journal's D6: All Things Digital Conference, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer highlighted upcoming multi-touch capability that Windows 7 will bring. Chris Flores' post and video kicked off a flurry of conversations in Techmeme, and we were pumped that they used a Latitude XT was one of the machines Microsoft used show off multi-touch in Windows 7.
But, Latitude XT customers don't have to wait for Windows 7 to use multi-touch. Tomorrow we will introduce a software update globally via support.dell.com for the Dell tablet that will bring multi-touch to both Windows XP and Vista. With this update, customers can use the functionality in several standard apps like Google Earth, Outlook and Microsoft Office, web browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer 7, and XP's Windows Picture viewer and the Vista's Windows Photo Gallery. Take a look at this video from Hans Eilers and Roy Stedman from the Office of the CTO for a demo of how this works.
I'll add the link to the software update here in this post when it's ready.
Update, July 16: I forgot to update this post with the links. If you'd like a bit more detail on how the install process works, take a look at this post from yesterday.
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Very cool!!! We've been waiting a long time for this.
Looking forward to the update tomorrow.
Great news. Now cut-off the price (and open an italian Outlet) and there is no sense to buy other tablets.
... video no longer available ...
Did someone have another link for this video ?
great news. Will you also have some API to leverage the new functionality in selfmade applications?
Cool, I'm really looking forward to trying it. But the SDK needs to be released soon too. With an SDK there will more cool apps that use multi touch that again sell more XT's :)
And still no update to the N-trig software. I hit the support site and it's still the old driver.
I'm already checking it out in Europe/Belgium the whole day but no download link so far. Guess Dell is counting in US times.
Can't wait for the download to be released. hopefully i'm not in bed when that happenes :-p
It's up now, under Input Device Drivers as "N-Trig Application."
This is pretty slick so far but after installation my laptop has risen in temperature considerably. Any ideas? Thanks. DL
Installed it, and it worked fine after the first reboot. Really cool!!
But.... now after another reboot, the touch screen won't work at all and I receive an error message.
So I quess it's a bit buggy still.
Inge: Sorry that you're having problems with multi-touch. What's the specific error you're getting? If it's easier to send me a screen capture of the error, feel free to e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) that and your service tag or order number.
Also, one thing you might want to try is to power down completely, then try to power up from that state.
about the API side...
it seems all is done by a chip on the N-Trig screen layer, no matter what OS you install, the screen will be an input device by hardware. meaning it will act like the touchpad or trackpad. I say this because there have been reports of OSX installed on it and the TouchScreen working with out of the box install.
I currently have a Fujitsu tablet with wacom touchscreen and it only works with the right software.
If its done the way I think it is, it might just be possible to build applications that scale on 2 points, or/and accept two mouse clicks (try this with 2 USB mice, it works)
could Dell/N-Trig confirm or deny this?
Yay, dell managed to steal something from apple
Nice work Hans! Might have to pick one of these up and give it a try!
I've been a big fan of the tablet ever since I started using one. I have a hard time going back to a standard laptop. My tablet, although doesn't have the 'touch' functionality. This is what I've been waiting for ever since I came to know about it.
HP Touchsmart is also VERY cool, but having it on a laptop is a completely different experience.
I don't even want to know how much it costs, my current Gateway tablet was $650 and I expect this Dell to be around $2K
just cant get the update to work. I've tried all the way .... It just stops upgrading process aroud 37%.
very nice video
Multi-capacitive-touch is an awesome innovation, but the starting price of $2500 for the Latitude XT is a real turn off,
especially when the rest of the machine's specs are of a system from
many years ago! Specs like a 40GB 4200RPM hard drive with no upgrade
option to 7200RPM let alone an option for the latest 128GB SSD hard
drive, or the processor choices of only 1.06GHz - 1.33GHz - gag! We'd
like to be able to use modern software on our notebooks without our hand falling asleep before we can multi-touch.
Yet intuitive interfaces like this are what the masses need. We
all need to move beyond the yoke of the old input methods to things
like multi-capacitive-touch with palm rejection and all the associated
However, it's the steep price for outdated technology
that has kept me from purchasing a tablet laptop in the past and will
continue to steer me away (as much as I really prefer the interface)
because I need the interface to use all the highly demanding
Super cool! Where can we learn the full list of what gestures and applications are supported?