Touchscreens these days are pretty much becoming part of nearly every device we own. In recent years the quality of touchscreens has increased dramatically but Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group have shown that we are still a long way off from perfection.
In general today’s touchscreens have a latency of around 100ms. This doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but once you’ve looked at Microsoft’s video you’ll probably have formed a different opinion on the matter.
With that latency of 100ms it means that you’ll find that the screen is never completely up to speed with your finger movements. It’s always going to be 100ms behind what you’ve done. To be honest a lot of the time you probably won’t notice this because we’ve become quite used to it. But as demonstrated in the video below, if you’re drawing you’ll find that the screen is quite a bit behind the movements you’ve made.
The demo that Microsoft have put together shows the massive differences in performance between a touchscreen device with a latency of 100ms and that of one with just 1ms.
The performance differences are actually quite staggering and would really make for a much better and realistic user experience. There’s zero delay between the users input and the reaction of the display.
It’s quite revolutionary stuff this, and I’d love to see it being rolled out to all touchscreen devices as soon as possible. But obviously it isn’t quite that simple otherwise we’d already have it. I’m sure it costs a lot more to have a 1ms latency touchscreen and I’m not sure if it there’s enough demand from the mainstream consumer for this.
Sadly we might never see this sort of technology come to the market, but with a bit of luck we will. Microsoft have proven that it can be done, now it’s up to the hardware manufacturers to implement it.