Ernesto Aello, aka VJ Pr4, has made a really beautiful video showing TouchOSC in action on the Apple iPad, demonstrating the utility of the touch tablet as a control surface for live visuals. Takeaways:

  • Yep, that big screen is great.
  • OSCulator, as always, is fantastic. You don’t need OSCulator to use OSC – but developer Camille has also demonstrated how useful additional OSC tools can be in a control workflow.
  • In some ways, OSC is even more comfortable with visuals than music.

Camille also links to a story I wrote for CDMusic. If you haven’t read it yet, I can point to three important revelations. One, Apple isn’t the only game in town – OEMs are likely to deliver new touch solutions, and they won’t necessarily be priced like the Lemur. Two, Stantum is likely to be one of the touch vendors to which those manufacturers turn for Linux, Windows, and Android/Chrome-powered slates. Three, and perhaps most important for visualists, the pen is the one missing “killer app.” While the iPad focuses only on touch from your fingers, other devices could integrate real pen input, for greater accuracy and expression (likely coupled with pressure, which is also unavailable in any real way on the iPad).

The Future of Multi-Touch: Behind the Scenes with Stantum, JazzMutant Co-Founder

In the meantime, though, the iPad is a presently-available, robust solution, and it does fingertip input better than just about anything I’ve seen at any price.

I did my performance last week with TouchOSC on an iPod touch, after having fiddled with TouchOSC’s iPad version. There are tradeoffs either way. I loved the ability to have something hand-sized on the iPod, but envied the iPad’s greater surface area. Each challenge intrigues me – the iPad apps could do more to take advantage of that real estate, and the iPod/iPhone apps could switch between screens more efficiently. I like TouchOSC, too, but every time I use it, it makes me imagine what else could be done in this space.

None of this is meant as criticism: I think it’s an exciting time for touch control, and the unique demands of visuals are a terrific playground.