Apple Touch Tablet iWorkTouch-based user interfaces continue to generate buzz. The latest example: According to some ex-Apple employees, Apple has been working on some interesting multi-touch applications that extend beyond the realm you'd come to expect. In fact, there may be multi-touch going into Apple's iWork productivity applications -- perhaps for Apple's alleged iSlate tablet. Interested? Read on.

In recent months we've noticed a range of multi-touch efforts that may benefit VARs and their customers. They include:

Here Comes Apple

Now, Apple seems to be extending its own touch efforts toward iWork, the company's productivity software suite. An example: MacRumors.com has the story that's been wrought out of a New York Times article. Technology acquired from Fingerworks -- the company that Apple scooped up for it's multi-touch prowess in 2005-- was being worked into some gesture related touch-applications. The New York Times article actually states verbatim that Apple has "Spent the past couple of years working on a multi-touch version of iWork." The speculation is, of course, that iWork with multi-touch will land on Apple's alleged iSlate tablet.

What's interesting is that Fingerworks had already produced and released a fully-multi-touch keyboard and a gesture pad. When Apple Fingerworks, all products were discontinued and the company's technology nearly disappeared. Fansites emerged for people who had their products, but they're still relatively unknown. eBay has the last bastion of products.

Early fan-made mock-ups of the iSlate showed an on-screen multi-touch keyboard. One might imagine that the Slate, at an angle, would facilitate both typing on-screen in a word-processor application, like Apple Pages. This would mean the Apple Tablet could be used for actual work, rather than play.

Could that be Apple's secret? While other manufactures figure the Apple Tablet will be purely play, we think the Apple Tablet could find a home in selected vertical markets.

Either way, VARs and solutions providers need to get up to speed on multi-touch -- since touch-based applications seem to be moving into more and more markets.