CDM has reported on the Star Trek-esque touchscreen interface
Lemur before, and developer Jazz Mutant told CDM in the fall they
expected to ship the unit this year. They've found a distributor: Cycling `74 will sell Jazz Mutant's Lemur for US$2495 (projected), with the first units expected in April 2005.
The Lemur is a touchscreen LCD for controlling audio and multimedia
programs: using an included editor for Linux, Mac OS X, or Windows, you
can create your own on-screen interfaces with faders, knobs, and the
like, and control them with your finger. The Lemur works with OSC,
not MIDI, for higher-bandwidth communications and connects via 100-BT
ethernet. OSC is currently supported in Pd, Reaktor, and Traktor
(natively) and Max/MSP (via an unsupported external).
This seems a triumph for OSC as much as for touchscreen interfaces.
Some hope this faster, more sophisticated format will catch on to
augment what is possible with MIDI; Native Instruments took the lead
among commercial developers implementing it.
You can check out the Lemur in person at the NAMM show in Anaheim if you're there, or in NYC at Share
on January 30, before the developers return to France. Let us know if
you get first-hand experience with it or (lucky dog) buy one!