I briefly mentioned this on Friday with the launch of Iiyama's touchscreen monitors, but it really deserves a story of its own.
The intrepid bloggers at Engadget have spotted patents from Apple at the back end of the week which suggests the company is looking to heavily build upon the revolutionary Multi-touch interface it introduced with great success on the iPhone.
In the application, Apple includes the intriguing abstract:
"Apparatus and methods are disclosed for simultaneously tracking multiple finger and palm contacts as hands approach, touch, and slide across a proximity-sensing, multi-touch surface. Identification and classification of intuitive hand configurations and motions enables unprecedented integration of typing, resting, pointing, scrolling, 3D manipulation, and handwriting into a versatile, ergonomic computer input device."
So we are looking at Minority Report territory here - finally!
Of course, in all seriousness, what we see here is likely to be many years away (Apple would have to build an entirely new OS interface for a start and consider things like the fatigue which would build in hands working with a vertical screen) but with some careful design it surely represents the future.
Mouse manufacturers beware...