At the end of 2012, comScore estimated there were 52.4 million tablet owners in the U.S.; Apple sold another 19.5 million iPads in the first three months of 2013 alone. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some companies, such as Roambi, Tableau, and Bloomberg are starting to offer mobile, touch-aware data visualization apps.
There are plenty of open design questions to work out for touchable data visualization: How to make intuitive gestures that are easy to discover and remember, whether touch may have advantages in data storytelling interfaces, and how to blend gestures into more traditional UI designs, among others.
Not only will tablet usage continue to grow, but other opportunities for museum installations, kiosks, and large-format presentation systems offer plenty of use-contexts to explore data visualization that takes advantage of the full interaction bandwidth afforded by these new displays and devices.
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