Software giant's applied science division gives a demonstration of how much better touch screens can be.

Microsoft wants lower latency touch screens

Microsoft is researching ways to reduce touch-screen lag down to single millisecond, a hundred times less than current touch-screen systems.

Paul Dietz of Microsoft’s Applied Science group fronted a YouTube video explaining the software giant’s research into so-called ‘high-performance touch’.

"Currently touch systems have about a hundred millisecond delay between when you touch and when the image actually changes," said Dietz, adding that a touch gesture of one meter per second would see a trail 10cm behind.

Dietz reckons that the delay breaks the UI analogy of moving a physical object because the object is so far behind. To get to the bottom of the effect of latency, Microsoft knocked up test rig where they could change the latency to see how it felt to the user.

After demonstrating a 1ms delay, Dietz said: "If you were playing with the real set-up, you would notice a real perceptual cliff and that this really starts to feel like a physical object."

Rather than suggesting that 1ms latency on touch-screen displays is just around the corner, Dietz called 1ms a "bar for where we’d like to head over the next decade."

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