frog helped HP create a touchscreen user interface for the TouchSmart computer, giving the entire family easy access to photos, calendars, and the Internet, and placing the PC at the center of the house.
Although widespread in mobile devices and public kiosks, touchscreen technologies have yet to be embraced in the wider PC market. HP and frog set out to change that reality by unveiling a new generation of touch-enabled PCs that place entertainment, information, and online communications right at the user’s fingertips—no mouse, no keyboard required. With touch navigation and a focus on media, frog and HP moved the PC into a communal position at the center of the household, right next to (or possibly, in place of) the television.
Beyond the Home Office
Computers have expanded far beyond their professional origins; today they’re just as much about playing music, looking at photos, checking the weather, and catching up with friends. frog and HP rallied around the concept of shared media, enabling users to view snapshots, movies, and television right on the a PC. The TouchSmart user interface lets people browse their music libraries, watch and record TV shows, or upload videos, flipping through media files with the touch of a finger. A photo-sharing app helps users upload, edit, and crop images using the touchscreen, and then share them with friends or post them to photo-sharing websites. The TouchSmart computer has become a manager for the personal digital ecosystem.
“[The TouchSmart] is the most persuasive product yet in HP’s turnaround of a PC business that was once defined by run-of-the- mill products and low margins.”
frog also developed activities that would make the computer a digital message board for the whole family, replacing cluttered wall calendars and bulletin boards as household information and announcement hubs. A shared calendar allows everyone to add events by touch or by voice, then see the entire family’s schedule onscreen. We also devised virtual sticky notes, pushing important information to the front of every screen. The machine also has a built-in camera and microphone to make it easy to video-chat with friends and family around the world.
A Reorganized Interface
frog shifted the TouchSmart interface away from files, folders, and applications and toward simple activity icons that are specially configured for ergonomic navigation. A customizable homepage was designed to facilitate one-touch access to quick links and favorite applications that surfaces key information and media. It also has an in-and-out navigation system that makes it clear to users which program they’re using and what functions are available to them at any given moment.