If all the attention to Microsoft Surface and Apple iPhone were not enough, now Microsoft’s next operating system, Windows 7, confirms it: multitouch and gesture are the next dominant interface families. They’re powerful and cheap (in terms of sensor hardware and memory/processor requirements), and people take to them quickly and enthusiastically.
But for accessibility, they’re the typical two-edged sword. They may overcome some of the barriers inherent in touchscreen technologies, but may demand too much dexterity from some users. They’ll need intense accessibility research and user testing, redundant options, and comprehensive collaboration with industry developers before we can be sure they’re optimized for inclusion.
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