Microsoft Research shows potential for combined thumb and pen interactions on Windows tablets

One of the major highlights of Windows 10 on tablets, particularly with Surface, is its pen and inking capabilities. A new video demonstration from Microsoft's Research division shows how that pen and touch input could be enhanced in the future with new interactions that open up all kinds of productivity possibilities in everything from spreadsheets to your browser.

One of the best examples of simultaneous pen and thumb input shown in the video is its first: Excel. Using a sort of radial menu under the thumb in combination with the pen allows for quick copying and pasting of cells, formatting, and navigation. Though it would definitely take some adjustment, proficient use of the simultaneous input techniques could definitely speed up common tasks in Excel.

The rest of the demonstration shows off some other interesting ideas ranging from manipulating layer controls while moving objects in a drawing app, to quickly opening hyperlinks in separate browser tabs with a thumb press and pen tap.

These are all obviously experiments at this point, but they provide a peek into some of the cooler interactions we could see applied in the future. What types of pen and touch input interaction would you like to see for tablets?

Thanks, @farshadatis, for the tip!

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl